Indonesia has been a hotspot of marine ornamental fish collection for the global market for at least 30 years. While the trade provides an important source of income for thousands of coastal communities, it is often based on unsustainable resource use and threatens the health of coastal marine ecosystems. A responsible and sustainable ornamental fish trade needs to be developed urgently and should be based on well-managed ecosystems and their resources, with shared responsibilities along the entire supply chains from the collectors to the consumers.
The marine ornamental trade in Indonesia has been active for so long that sustainability issues are now a matter for concern. Over-exploitation and the use of destructive collecting techniques are still widespread, with many high value targeted species being collected with cyanide. Stock mortalities remain high prior to export, because post -harvest handling techniques are poor and sourcing organisms that come from responsible and sustainable fisheries has also proven difficult due to a lack of reliable data.
As with other fisheries in Indonesia, effective reef fisheries management policies are currently lacking, and no local or national legal framework exists to support or regulate ornamental fish collection and trade. The trade is not an integrated business operation, which adds to the complexity of the supply chains. There are often several buyers between the collectors and exporters, which makes it a challenge to trace the origin of the stock. In addition, long trade routes negatively affect the health and survival rates of the organisms.
To address these issues, LINI, as the first and only local NGO working on the development of sustainable marine ornamental fisheries in Indonesia, aims to support the conservation and management of marine ornamental fisheries throughout Indonesia, by empowering coastal communities, providing training in practical skills, promoting fairer trade and more sustainable practices of marine resource use.