Scleractinia in the Ornamental Fish Expo is a legally imported product, not a protected species. The Fisheries Agency reiterates its stance on nature conservation and strict enforcement of legal compl
In response to today’s report entitled “Ornamental Fish Expo Sells Protected Scleractinia Corals”, the Fisheries Agency (FA) stated that, after investigation, the Scleractinia or stony coral exhibited in the expo was legally imported from Indonesia with CITES certification. The importer has not violated the public vending rules stipulated in the Wildlife Conservation Act. The FA stressed that the government’s stance on coral reef resource conservation has not changed and the authority will implement strict inspection of all future exhibition events to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents.
The FA explained that, in order to protect the habitats of corals (or coral reefs), the Council of Agriculture has launched a series of programs since 2000 and commissioned academic and research institutions to conduct relevant surveys and research. Statistics gained from the research have been used as the basis for the zoning of protected ocean ecologies. In addition, four jurisdictions with a high population of coral colonies, including Penghu, Pingtung, Taitung, and Yilan, have banned the harvest of corals within 12 nautical miles from the shores in accordance with the Fisheries Act.
According to our investigation, Scleractinia or stony coral is not a species protected by the Wildlife Conservation Act, and only the Washington Convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) lists all stony corals in Appendix II of the Convention. Therefore, “possession of stony coral” in Taiwan is not illegal if the coral is obtained from legal sources. The FA indicated that, to prevent misunderstanding, the vender has removed the coral product from public display in this expo.