Significant Discrepancies Between Indonesia and Netherlands Wildlife Trade

Ratri M. Siniwi Jakarta Globe 21 Nov 16;

Jakarta. TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, issued a report on Monday (21/11) on wildlife trade between the Netherlands and Indonesia indicating that there is a large discrepancy of animals being traded between the countries which remain unaccounted for.

According to the study, Indonesia reported that it exported 456,658 animals to the Netherlands between 2003 and 2013. The study also indicated that the Netherlands reportedly imported 343,992 species in that time.

This also differed from the data provided by the United Nations Environmental Program World Conservation Monitoring Center, where almost 550,000 species were reportedly exported to the Netherlands, according to its trade database.

Of the 550,000 species, 98 percent comprised of coral specimens and the remaining were birds, fish, mammals, molluscs and reptiles.

“Transactions not tallying between exporters and importers is a perennial problem seen in reporting of trade worldwide: in this instance the discrepancies indicate poor compliance with the [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES] requirements for accurate information on the actual numbers of wildlife traded, and impedes proper understanding of wildlife trade dynamics,” Chris Shepherd, TRAFFIC’s Southeast Asia regional director, said in a statement on Monday (21/11).

The study also highlighted that reptiles and coral specimens continued to be traded despite trade suspensions and restrictions being issued on European Union member states, after being listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

The Common Seahorse, known as the Hippocampus kuda, was a focus of the study, as there has been an increase in trade of the species. However the trade of the species, which is prohibited, has lead to captive breeding,

“A quick shift to sourcing specimens from captive breeding starts alarm bells ringing and the authorities should ensure that wild taken specimens are not being laundered as captive bred,” Shepherd said.

The organization recommended that both the Netherlands and Indonesia improve documentation and transparency for wild animal trade, especially for coral specimens and increase protection and monitoring.

World Wildlife Fund Netherlands, who funded the study, suggests that the Netherlands should increase vigilance for commercial wildlife trade events, as well as monitor imports closely.

“Regular market monitoring could provide early warnings of emerging trends, potential illegal trade and prevent the use of the Netherlands as an entry point into the EU of trafficked wildlife,” Christiaan van der Hoeven of WWF Netherlands said.

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