About one-third of all saltwater fish species live at least part of their lives in coral reefs, and all play important roles in the health of these habitats. According to RARE around 54% of Indonesian’s animal protein comes from fish and seafood and is the second largest producer of wild-caught fish in the world.
You can avoid being part of the problem by checking if your travel destination has a sustainable seafood guide and steering clear of out-of-season seafood offered on restaurant menus.
Indonesian seafood products are under threat as coastal and reef fisheries are placing a lot of pressure on fish populations and environments.
Herewith a few facts according to the World Wildlife Fund Indonesia:
Did you know that in Indonesia:
- Lobster grows and matures very slowly. Lobster is very easy to catch and so lobster in the wild is becomming very rare.
- Lobster is sometimes caught with poison. The poison kills the reef and its other inhabitants.
- Sharks fins are obtained from sharks that are often caught in nets or on long-lines where dolphins, turtles, birds and other marine life also fall prey.
- Shark meat is often discarded after the fins are cut off.
- Sharks grow and mature very slowly. Shark populations have gone down dramatically in the past 10 years.
- Baby sharks are getting rare as their adults are being over-fished. Baby sharks could restore the dwindling shark population when they are left to live and grow.
- Prawns are caught with trawlers that destroy the nearshore ocean bottom ecosystem. By-catch often includes turtles and other marine mammals.
- Prawns are also farmed in ponds for which mangrove forests were cut down. Without the mangrove trees, coastlines erode and natural fish nursery areas disappear.
- Grouper is often caught with poison that kills the reef.
- Grouper grows and matures slowly. Groupers are also important in balancing the reef fish community.
- Reef fish are often caught with explosives. Many snappers, rabbitfish, groupers, fusiliers, triggerfish and surgeonfish are typical blast fishing catches. The explosive kills the reef for many decades, and the reef sometimes does not regenerate at all.
Not all areas in Indonesia represent gloom and doom. By making a careful selection when you wish to enjoy seafood, you can help to make things better.
You can find the latest updated WWF sustainable seafood guide here
Whenever possible – ask for seafood from the green list. They present a wide variety of healthy and nutritious food.
Be careful and aware when you select seafood from the yellow list. These products are often not produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
Refrain from ordering seafood from the red list. These products are in serious decline in the wild or cause large and unwanted by-catch of other endangered or protected species.
You can also check out the Good Fish Guide and educate yourself on responsible and sustainable practices.
Meridian Adventure Dive’s menu reflects our social consciousness in so far as we compliment the Waisai culinary possibilities by not competing with local restaurants.