Schwerdtner-Manez, Kathleen and Hussain, S P (2013) First evidence of targeted moray eel fishing in the Spermonde Archipelago, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Traffic Bulletin, 25 (1). pp. 4-7.

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In the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia,
demand for valuable living marine
resources has caused a number of sequential
exploitation waves. The most recent is
the catching of moray eels. Over recent
months, this activity has been taken up on at least seven
islands. The main target is Giant Moray Gymnothorax
javanicus, but other spotted species are also collected.
Moray eels have not been previously exploited in
the area as their flesh is considered locally to be nonpalatable.
Fishing started in February 2012 in order
to satisfy a new demand from mainland China, where
the species is used in traditional medicine. At present,
several hundred kilogrammes of moray eels are caught
daily, filleted and exported to mainland China and
Taiwan for such purposes. Fishermen targeting moray
eels either use spear guns and cyanide or place baited
fish traps in the coral reefs. These activities are putting
additional pressure on Spermonde’s coral reefs, which
are already suffering from over-exploitation and from
the widespread use of cyanide and dynamite to capture
fish. But the fishing of moray eels might also have other
consequences. As top predators, they influence the
reef fish community structure. The low abundance and
strong site-affinity of moray eels makes them extremely
vulnerable to over-exploitation. According to fishermen
involved, a number of reefs have already been depleted,
forcing them to move to new reefs within and out of the
archipelago to collect eels.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 12:59
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:29

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