Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti has expressed concern about the issue of consumed live reef fish which was very popular in the international market.
“The demand for consumed live reef fish continues to increase because of its huge economic value. It has even been demanded in a very large-scale industry. The reef fish is very vulnerable because it is easily overexploited,” Minister Susi said in a press statement received by ANTARA on Sunday.
Reef fish has long been a food commodity in great demand in various countries, especially Hong Kong and China.
However, the high interest and prices of reef fish have been creating an alarming trend of trade.
Minister Susi pointed out this issue while chairing a session at the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) General Meeting in Monaco on December 6, 2018.
In the presence of members of the Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA) and the Nature Conservancy, Minister Susi affirmed the need to regulate and manage the sustainable consumption of live reef fish.
According to Susi Pudjiastuti, the consumption of live reef fish is closely related to the biodiversity preservation and endangered species.
The higher the demand for reef fish, the higher the pressure on coral reefs.
Over fishing is also considered to damage the coral reef ecosystem which results in the extinction of marine ecosystems that depend on coral reefs.
“Coral reefs as places for spawning and living places of some fish are also threatened. Moreover, the live reef fish is also fished in destructive ways,” Susi continued, warning to avoid using dynamite, potassium, bombs, for fishing as all of them can destroy coral reefs.
Minister Susi said as one of the Chairs of ICRI, Indonesia is obliged to voice sustainable management of coral reefs to promote increase socio-economic aspects of people living on the coast.
Susi Pudjiastuti added that the exploitation of consumed reef fish must be managed to maintain the sustainability of the fish and the coral reefs.