Legal and Policy Gaps in the Management of the Live Reef Food Fish Trade in the Coral Triangle

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is one of the most challenging issues in the trade in live reef food fish in the Coral Triangle.

The report, Legal and Policy Gaps in the Management of Live Reef Food Fish Trade in the Coral Triangle Region, examines the legal and policy framework for the live reef food fish trade (LRFFT) in Coral Triangle countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and East Timor.
 

About the trade

The trade in live reef food fish in the Coral Triangle was estimated to be worth over US$810 million in 2002. High value species include humphead wrasse, selling for as much as HK$99 to 150 per kilo in luxury restaurants in Hong Kong and more than US$350 per kilo in Beijing and Shanghai.

Aside from Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore are the main importing and consumption markets of live reef food fish in the region. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia have been key exporters for decades.

What the report focuses on

The new report looks at 4 key areas:
  • ecosystem approach to fisheries management
  • port state measures
  • trade and market measures
  • combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The report goes on to compare the domestic implementation of LRFFT using benchmarks established under relevant international instruments and Coral Triangle Initiative management goals.

Trends are highlighted in terms of gaps in domestic legal frameworks and options are provided for CTI countries to improve LRFFT management.

But the growing demand for live reef food fish, the destructive methods of obtaining and rearing reef fish, and the widening geographical scope of the trade all pose major sustainability concerns, raising the urgent need for more effective management.

Contact us

Paolo P. Mangahas
Communications Manager
WWF Coral Triangle Programme
Email

Geoffrey Muldoon
Strategy Leader
WWF Coral Triangle Programme
Email

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