Indonesia Makes Progress On Banggai Issue

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Indonesia makes progress on Banggai issue
15th August 2017

By Sandra Pearce

Indonesia has been praised for an initial progress report on its conservation and management measures to protect the Banggai cardinalfish.

The South-East Asian country is the only range country for Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) – at the 17th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties last year, the European Union proposed to add the species to CITES Appendix II, which lists species that are not yet threatened with extinction but may become so unless trade is closely controlled.

Indonesia then accepted a number of draft decisions and made its progress report last month at the CITES 29th meeting of the Animals Committee in Switzerland.

On its Facebook page, Ornamental Fish International praised the ‘fruitful dialogue with the Indonesian delegation’ and said: “Indonesia has delivered an excellent progress report on their conservation and management measures to ensure the sustainability of international trade in the Banggai cardinalfish.”

Among the measures Indonesia listed is the revision of the Banggai Island Zoning Plan to ensure conservation is ‘well presented’ and the establishment of locally-managed marine-protected areas to protect ‘critical microhabitats’.

Indonesia will also apply ‘a certain protection status’ for the species and will strengthen enforcement and surveillance. Impact on populations will be measured twice a year.

The report said that priority activities include ‘trade arrangement/coordination, assessment of the application of wild harvest quota for banggai cardinalfish, monitoring of inter islands’ trade/distribution, education and awareness campaign, and promotion of community aquaculture’.

It added: “Subject to availability of funding, trade survey will be conducted to assess source, trader, number of individual, and price of Banggai cardinalfish. Trade survey is important to know whether existing harvest is non-detrimental to wild population or not, in particular after the implementation of protection and management measures. Trade survey is also required to know actual number of individual transported out from Banggai Islands.”

The ultimate target, it said, was to ‘increase fish population in its natural habitats’.