距离斐济渔林部突然宣布立即全面禁止小岛屿国家的所有活珊瑚和活石出口不到一周直接导致了沃尔特·史密斯国际公司Walt Smith International四分之三的员工失去工作对于靠这份工作谋生的家庭来说,这个新年并不好过

 

斐济是世界上第一批出产和交易优质SPS珊瑚的地区二十年,斐济通过养殖珊瑚和人造石头实现可持续发展。生态系统管理和资源管理对所有国家来说是非常重要的,但是如此突然和轻率地遏制一个发展了几十年的产业,似乎没有数据的支持,也不是对过度开采珊瑚岩石的合理担忧

沃尔特·史密斯公司雇用斐济当地劳工制作的一些粗糙岩石

 

活石出口采取了严格活珊瑚出口需要CITES许可证,以此防止过度开采保护环境。因此,沃尔特·史密斯雇用当地劳动力开发了许多人造岩石项目,还建造珊瑚养殖架养殖多年来被广泛记载的珊瑚。

 

宣布将来停止类型的渔业是一回事,但正确的做法是逐步停止预留充分的时间让利益相关者改变投资。这会让开采野生珊瑚和岩石的人支持水产养殖珊瑚和人造岩石,直到它可以完全取代野生种群。我们真诚地希望,渔业部能够改变这种突然遏制野生开采的强硬态度,并预先通知提出一项危害这么多人的生计的提议

 

Walt Smith Int’l lays off 75% of Staff Following Fiji Rock & Coral Ban

It’s been less than a week since the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries & Forests abruptly announced an immediate and complete ban on all live coral and live rock exports from the small island nation. The immediate result has been the loss of employment by three quarters of the staff at Walt Smith International, surely not a great way to start the new year for the families who depend on that income. 

Fiji was one of the first regions of the world to supply high quality SPS corals to the aquarium trade and over the last twenty years this country has become synonymous with sustainability through farmed corals and man-made rock. It’s very important for all nations to manage their ecosystems and resources but halting a decades old industry so suddenly is rash and in this case, doesn’t seemed to be supported by data or legitimate concerns of over harvesting of corals or rock.

Just some of the extensive ‘rock works’ that are made by Walt Smith using local FIjian labor

Stringent quotas for live rock exports and CITES permits for live corals have been in place to safeguard the environment from overexploitation. To compliment this Walt Smith has developed numerous artificial rock-building projects using local labor, as well as coral farming racks to aquaculture corals which have been extensively documented over the years. 

It’s one thing to announce a future closure of a fishery of any kind, but the proper thing to do is to phase it out and give stakeholders the chance to redirect their energy. This would allow wild harvesting to support aquaculture and artificial rock making efforts until such a time that it can completely replace the supplant wild stock. We sincerely hope that the Ministry of Fisheries can walk back this sudden hard line stance of wild collection and offer a proposal that doesn’t jeopardize the livelihood of so many people without notice.