Fiji Reverses Instant Ban On Coral And Rock Exports



Fiji reverses instant ban on coral and rock exports
12th February 2018

By Sandra Pearce
Following much confusion after the Fiji government announced on Facebook that it was banning the export of live rocks and corals from January 7, the country’s biggest coral and rock exporter has said that the ban has since been withdrawn.
Fiji’s rocks and corals are popular with aquariums around the world, and companies based in Fiji have been sending tonnes of the material overseas.
In December, the Ministry of Fisheries in Fiji said the instant ban would prevent the further degradation of the country's reefs.
David Barrick, the livestock and aquaculture manager for award-winning coral and rock exporter Walt Smith International told ABC news: “We saw a notice on Facebook, and that’s the only information we had ever gotten that this was coming down.
“We also called our local fisheries officers and the CITES management and nobody had known anything about this, except for the hour before the post was made.”
However, on January 25, Walt Smith International posted on Facebook saying: “Happy FIJI Friday! We can now happily say that Fisheries has officially withdrawn the ban put in place on December 28th! We are now waiting for the Department of Environment to hold the CITES MA meeting to discuss the quotas and finalize everything.”
The Ornamental Fish International responded: “This sounds like great news for our industry and particularly for the hundreds of people in Fiji that rely of coral exports for their livelihoods. We are waiting for more detail on the decision. Well done to Walt and team!”