Stony corals

According to CITES data, the global live coral trade rose steadily from 1997 to 1999 with 934,463 live pieces and 1,142,242 live pieces being traded worldwide respectively in those years. The trade decreased to 942,661 pieces in 2001. Since the late 1980s, Indonesia has become the largest coral exporting cou ntry32. CITES figu res show that direct exports of live wild-sourced coral from Indonesia represented 78 per cent (729,703 pieces) of the global total for all coral species in 1997, 66 per cent (640,190 pieces) in 2000 and 71 per cent (669,192 pieces) in 2001. (See Figure 2.) The numbers are based on data reported by importers because values based on exporters' information are an indicator of the number of permits issued rather than the actual quantity of corals exported for the aquarium trade. To illustrate the difference, in 2001 data from all importers showed a total of 669,192 pieces having been exported from Indonesia, whilst information provided by exporters indicate 1,442,413 pieces were exported from Indonesia.

Data from 1997 to 2001 show Indonesia, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Tonga together supplying more than 95 per cent of live coral exports. Since the late 1990s Fiji has been playing an increasing role as an exporter of live coral. It is the major source country of live coral for the aquarium trade in the Pacific Islands with smaller contributions from Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Fiji presently receives approximately US$12 million per year in export revenue from the trade in live coral65. Although statistics on live coral exports are available from the Fijian Fisheries Division, values cannot be used to assess the volume of live coral being extracted from Fiji as they include re-exports that originated primarily from Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Bali, and data represent maximum permitted exports rather than actual exports. Moreover, live coral export figures have often tended to include live rock exports, thus artificially inflating live coral statistics. Based on these issues, the Fijian coral industry is presently under review by the Fisheries Division to ensure that harvest

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