October 13, 2004, Bangkok. Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) or commonly referred to as Napoleon fish, was finally accepted by consensus at the 13th CITES session on the list of species of animals which are regulated internationally. This type of fish was agreed to enter CITES Appendix II. This position shows that there are efforts to protect the types of reef fish that are widely exploited to meet the needs of the international market.
At the eleventh day session, the Government of Indonesia expressed its full support for the proposal of Fiji, European Union countries, and the United States to include Humphead Wrasse in Appendix II. The same support was also provided by several other countries such as Palau, Kenya, Iceland and Norway. Meanwhile, FAO as one of the world bodies working on marine and fisheries issues also stated the suitability of the inclusion of Humphead Wrasse in CITES Appendix II.
China as one of the biggest importer countries for this type of fish had expressed its rejection of the Appendix II proposal. The main reason for China’s rejection is because of the difficulties that the importing country might face in controlling trade of this species. The Chinese refusal received support from the Seychelles country in the Caribbean.
Several NGOs who were also present at the hearing had predicted that there would be a prolonged debate in the discussion of the Humphead Wrasse proposal. For Indonesian NGOs, this incident was also quite surprising. “We actually did not expect that China as the biggest Napoleon consumer country did not provide heavy resistance in the discussion at the hearing last night,” said Imran Amin, a Telapak marine campaigner. Furthermore Imran Amin said, “We hope that we can increase the control and supervision of fishing activities in Indonesia and international trade in the adoption of this proposal. Hopefully the fishing theft and smuggling activities of Napoleon can be stopped, and small fishermen can get justice, so hopefully small fishermen who catch fish can get a fairer price. “
M. Imran Amin : (HP) +62 811 112321
Note for Editor:
- CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) is an international convention signed by 166 countries. Meetings between the countries that sign the convention are held every 2 years. The 13th CITES took place from October 2-14, 2004 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention, Bangkok
- Indonesia is one of the largest Napoleon exporting countries in the world. About 80% of fish caught in Indonesia are obtained using cyanide poison.
- Arrest of Napoleon species has been regulated nationally by the Government of Indonesia in the form of a Ministerial Decree.
- Telapak is an independent environmental organization based in Bogor. Since 1998, Telapak has conducted monitoring activities on cyanide fishing activities in Indonesia. More detailed information about Telapak can be obtained by visiting our website (www.kaoemtelapak.org)