The proposal to list Bangaii cardinals into CITES II

The proposal to list Bangaii cardinals into CITES II

Postby DrHsu » Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:02 am

As you all know, the Bangaii Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) has been proposed to be listed into Appendix II of CITES. The proposing country is the USA, which is generally unusual as the US is not a range state of the species. However, the general concensus and recommendations seems to be that it will be approved and Bangaiis will be listed after this year's Convention of the Parties in June at The Hague, Netherlands.

This is the full text of the proposal http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/14/prop/E14-P19.pdf

Interesting comments from CITES secretariat (see page 24 of http://www.cites.org/eng/notif/2007/E010.pdf) however, and perhaps Indonesia might object??? Sometimes things can be more political than they should.....
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Postby FuEl » Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:49 pm

Interesting. Good news for the wild populations since they fare so poorly after all the stress they go through from capture to holding to shipping.
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Postby vaporize » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:02 am

So we will know the final answer after the June conference? (not sure how it works)
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Postby DrHsu » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:32 am

Yes. COP 14 will be held June 2 to 15th. Parties to the convention will vote on the proposal sometime during the conference after the usual presentation and discussions. If the proposal passes, then there will be a period of time (I forget how long, but it's somewhere in the region of a few months, I think) before the listing will be enforced.
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Postby FMarini » Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:42 pm

Hi Li-
Yes the USA is the proposing country. Why-because Alex Vagelli from New Jersey State Aquarium did all the census for the past 6 yrs, and has painstakenly recorded the rapid decline of this fish. Alex is currently over in Banggai now, to try and get the Local govt onboard w/ the proposal, as well as conduct a final census. However the data is very strong.
As you know Gerald allen proposed this idea in 2001, but w/o any repeate Census to back up his claim, so it was dropped then.
When this proposal passes in June of this year (and I know it will) you can thank Alex for all his hard work. The CITE restriction should go into effect by years end.

The hope is that the local govt will allow the formation of lagoon sancutarys to allow reproduction of this fish undisturbed.
Thanks for posting this info
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Postby mpedersen » Thu May 31, 2007 1:40 pm

Looks like this is just a couple days away from happening?

Will be interesting to see what happens if Bangaiis get listed on CITES...

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Postby DrHsu » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:22 pm

The proposal to list Bangaiis into CITES appendix II was withdrawn by the US on Monday following discussion by CITES delegates at COP14. This is a summary of the discussion as reported by Earth Negotiations Bulletin:

Banggai cardinalfish: The US introduced its proposal (CoP14 Prop.19) to list Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) on Appendix II, noting that it is a major importer of this endemic Indonesian species. He highlighted recent data showing further population decline and unsustainability of current harvest levels (CoP14 Inf.37).

Opposing the proposal, INDONESIA underscored: high productivity of the species both in the wild and in captivity; ongoing conservation efforts; and implications of the proposed listing for local livelihoods. Supported by IRAN, he also expressed concern over the legality of recent research. Many others also opposed, with AUSTRALIA stressing national management measures for endemic species, JAPAN saying an Appendix-III listing would be more appropriate, and THAILAND citing the FAO Expert Panel’s opposition to the listing. Following these comments, the US withdrew its proposal.


Looks like high bangaii prices would have to wait! :roll:
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Re:

Postby mpedersen » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:53 pm

DrHsu wrote:The proposal to list Bangaiis into CITES appendix II was withdrawn by the US on Monday following discussion by CITES delegates at COP14. This is a summary of the discussion as reported by Earth Negotiations Bulletin:Looks like high bangaii prices would have to wait! :roll:


HOLY sht. I'm borderline apaulled?! They questioned the "LEGALITY" of the research? Since when was it ILLEGAL to research something like the population of a fish? Even if the research was "illegal", the results and conclusions were pretty compelling.

OK, the "high productivity"? This is arguably the least fecund species of cardinalfish that exists! WTF does the country of IRAN have to do with Bangaii Cardinalfish (unless in this case IRAN is an acronym for something totally different than the country of Iran)?

I cannot believe the narrow mindedness of the world sometimes...heck, I wouldnt' be surprised if this was one of those times when folks got together and rejected the proposal simply because it was the US making it? I furthermore can't understand why the US would WITHDRAW the proposal..who cares if a few countries disagree. Afterall, the only folks mentioned in that little writeup are Indonesia, Iran, Australia and Japan. What about the countries that also have a say?

Whatever, just means that MOFIB has to do an even better part of educating people to the green benefits of captive bred fish. If decimating the wild population of a species wasn't moral grounds enough to buy captive bred, we can always simply cite the fact that we didn't burn tons of fuel just to fly them over from Bangaii anyway.

I'm shocked. I wish there was something more we could've done. Maybe next year?

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Postby DrHsu » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:51 pm

Matt,

I think shouldn't be too quick to criticise the withdrawal. This is only a report of the discussion and is not in-depth enough to make conclusions as to the validity of the opposing arguments.

For myself, the fact that the US voluntarily withdrew the proposal says a lot - the US never backs down on alot of issues, even when they are wrong. I think there is more to it than what we know so far, and if I am able to get some more insights, I will let you guys know.

FWIW, there is also the FAO expert panel's recommendations to oppose the listing - that one would be interesting to read. I'll look for it.
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Postby DrHsu » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:24 pm

Here is the FAO Expert Panel's recommendations. The relevant pages are on pages 100-108 on the PDF.

Interesting reading.....many might be interested to learn the wholesale cost to importers! (somewhere near the end - happy hunting..)
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Postby BaboonScience » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:29 pm

On the other hand, if the research is correct, overfishing could indeed decimate the wild stock.
Captive bred would then be the only option.
How much would they then be worth?
A good news / bad news scenario?
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Postby Colby » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:09 am

I am with Matt on this one...pretty disgusting.
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Postby KathyL » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:59 am

There is a paragraph that says, I think, that if they list on CITES, it will hinder captive breeding attempts, because breeding f2 is more difficult....

Then there are the inhabitants of the Bangai Islands to consider. The ones who eat by fishing for Bangais.

I think the jist of what little I read makes sense. The populations CAN grow in other areas, the populations are not in decline necessarily, it is in a way self regulating. When the populations get low, fishing drops off, and the population can recover. And if governments step in, and cut a wide swath out of the economy of the islands, it will do more harm than good.

I expect I should have kept my mouth shut, since I didn't read the whole thing.....It doesn't sound like a tragedy to me. None of us will starve if Bangais are not listed, but perhaps someone else will, if they(Bangais) are.
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Postby DrHsu » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:18 pm

Some additional snippets:

Regarding "legality": The researcher entered Indonesia under a social visit visa. Special visas are required for scientific work in many countries and Indonesia is one of them. This was one objection by the Indonesians.

Species management and conservation plans are in place in Indonesia. This differs from the statement in the proposal that there is no species management plan.

Apparently the 2004 survey of 7 sites was done in 28 days - a pretty short time frame for a major survey.

Due to the numerous objections by many countries, the US had no choice but to withdraw the proposal.


(My personal view): Looking at the FAO panel's recommendations, it would seem that there are some fundamental assumptions that may be in error, and the math doesn't seem right. A pretty compelling argument if you go by the "facts" and figures, but maybe fundamentally flawed....

Also, I think the fact that there are villages that understood the perils of overfishing and VOLUNTARILY banned bangaii fishing is a good thing - the local villagers are beginning to understand the concept of sustainable use.

Knowing that the Indonesian govt is also stepping in with species management plans is also a positive.

The high recovery rate once protected is also good - shows that bangaiis are a resilient species and can be sustainably harvested.

In any case, it still shouldn't stop us from breeding bangaiis....just that you may not be able to get the high price that was hoped for!
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Re:

Postby mpedersen » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:30 am

DrHsu wrote:In any case, it still shouldn't stop us from breeding bangaiis....just that you may not be able to get the high price that was hoped for!


And that will be the main reason why no one breeds them in any significant commercial quantities...they simply aren't terribly profitable fish, so they'll probably remain as a first-breeding entrance for SW breeding hobbyists. On one hand I can't claim to know the whole situation, nore do I have the time at present to dig as far into it as I want or should, but on the flipside a fish that produces very few young per month in relation to most other fish, again, there's no the fecudity there to support the massive importation...most other cardinalfish produce hundreds of larvae (admittedly far less developed) and therefore have the reproductive potential...thus why Bangaii's aren't profitable whereas something like A. leptacanthus could very easily be...

FWIW,

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Postby mpedersen » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:34 pm

http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=266 - See Alex's post - it's pretty hard to miss.

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Postby avagelli » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:39 pm

Hi to all,
I just came across this forum and I thought that it would be a good idea to lay out the facts about the real situation of the Banggai cardinalfish, the impact of its trade in the local economy and the failure of CITES to protect this species.
I am in charge of the research and conservation program at the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences and I have been working with the Banggai cardinalfish since 1996, soon after it appeared in the US marine aquarium fish market. I studied its reproductive biology, behavior, early nutritional requirements, and genetics the lab. I completed extensive studies in the Banggai Archipelago during four expeditions, where I focused on its geographic distribution, ecology, and conservation status. Witnessing the depletion of the Banggai cardinalfish due to collecting for the international aquarium fish trade, and the deterioration of its habitats due principally to dynamite fishing, I decided to submit a recommendation for this species to be included under appropriate CITES listing.
Pleas for protecting the Banggai cardinalfish have been made in the past, such as the recommendation of Dr. Gerald Allen, one the foremost experts in Indopacific Fishes (who re-discovered of the Banggai cardinalfish in 1994), to protect this species because its heavy exploitation for the aquarium trade. But now, we had a very detailed map of the species distribution allowing the tracking of virtually all populations, and the quantitative data from censuses done since 2001 that showed the unsustainable rate of its capture, including the extinction of some of its populations.

Reading some of the postings made me realize how easy we can be misled by comments taken out of context and how quick we can change our views and opinions on a subject when we do not have the appropriate information, to analyze it. It is understandable, and nobody would expect that in an internet forum people will go to a library or analyze statistical data before posting a quick comment. However, it is very disappointing to see when an organization such as CITES, that it is supposed to focus on technical / scientific data to determine the conservation status and protection needs of species, lets politics and interest groups dictate the fate of species under enormous pressure by the international trade. It is even more frustrating when, like in the case of the Banggai cardinalfish, countries and interest groups purposely use misleading information and fabricated data to easily convince other parties (who made no efforts to critically judge, either the proposal or the opposing reasons) about the inappropriateness of the proposal.

I want to clarify a few points that seem to be misunderstood here, and in the process to tell the real history behind the Banggai cardinalfish proposal and CITES.

- The visual census of a particular site, takes about 2 hours including the actual census time (1 net hour), to be completed by 2 divers. It is a fairly standard method in marine fish surveys. So, not much of an effort to do 7 in 28 days. This, of course, was not argued.

- However, at the CoP, efforts were made to cast doubts on the feasibility of surveying almost 25 islands (66 sites) during a three week fieldtrip. Those who were seeking to discredit the technical work and wanted to see “flaws” in the data so as to have excuses to oppose the proposal, do not seem to have looked at the provided map of the Banggai Archipelago. Thirty five out of 52 islands are less (some, much less) than 4 km in length, and except for the largest two, there are only 4 between 20 and 30 km in length. All islands are separated by a few km from other ones. So, with a well-delineated itinerary and a boat doing about 10 knots, the 66 sites surveyed (not necessarily censused) are easily done if you are willing to make an average of about 4 shallow dives/ day.

- The US withdrew the proposal after being introduced and discussed by other Parties. That means that even though the US Delegation (as every other party attending the CoP 14) knew in advance that Indonesia would oppose the Banggai proposal, they were confident enough in the proposal’s validly to introduce it anyway and hope to have the 2/3 of votes necessary to pass the proposal. Based on the number of parties that requested the floor to oppose the proposal, the US decided to withdraw the proposal after it became clear that there were not enough votes to pass it.

- For those who quickly accepted the FAO “expert” panel analysis and recommendation against the proposal let me tell you that the “expert” that reviewed the proposal for FAO considers that the Banggai cardinalfish is a high productivity species, comparable to most food fish species with which FAO usually deals. Based on extensive our extensive research and the activities of many who breed this species, we know this to be untrue. This species has incredibly low fecundity and a very low level of recruitment.

Those who wish to know the other “ view” about the FAO assessment should go to the CITES web site: http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/14/inf/index.shtml and scroll down to # 37 where you will find the rebuttal to the FAO review ( which was also given to all CoP delegations). The title is: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON BIOLOGICAL AND TRADE CRITERIA IN SUPPORT OF AN APPENDIX-II LISTING FOR THE BANGGAI CARDINALFISH, PTERAPOGON KAUDERNI. In addition, the CITES Secretariat, recommended the acceptance of the proposal despite acknowledging FAO ‘s negative review (see: http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/14/doc/index.shtml, open Item # 68, and then look proposal #19)

-The research done in the Banggai region and Sulawesi was legal. Indonesia tried to discredit the data using that argument too. No studies were done within the Banggai Region without permits issued by either the federal or regional government authorities. It seems that Indonesian delegates were concerned about how other Parties would react (on the Banggai proposal) if they presented information that totally lacked scientific data, and included bogus claims about the (NON-EXISTING) species management and conservation plans in the Banggai region. It worked fine. Some Countries delegates could not resist, I guess, the opportunity to use that phrase “illegal research” to make some political statements against the proposal and the proposing Country. I have always made every effort to talk with the fishers in the Banggai Islands to develop a sense of what is going on from their perspective. At the front line, there is no evidence or knowledge of any conservation or management plan associated with the Banggai cardinal fish.

- An example of how data was taking out of the context to mislead other Delegations is illustrated by one of the first comments by Indonesia during its opposition speech to the proposal. It said that the latest assessment done in the Banggai region (referring to my last trip in March 2007) “only found 6 out of 77 sites surveyed” with a significant decline in population. There is a significant difference in procedures associated with sites that are “surveyed” as opposed to “censused”. For those that already decided to oppose the proposal on political grounds, this statement may have sounded persuasive. However, what the Indonesian delegation failed to point out is that out of the 77 sites surveyed in 2007, only 66 were actually located within the Banggai Archipelago, and of those 66 sites Pterapogon kauderni was found in only 36. More importantly, censuses were conducted in only 11 representative sites being followed since 2001. A true interpretation would indicate that 6 sites out of the 11 actually censused within the Banggai region in 2007 showed a significant reduction in population with respect to 2004, including 3 sites with only 38, 27 and 4 individuals remaining. This actual interpretation indicates a completely different and very dire situation in the study area compared to the way the data was twisted during the opposition to the proposal.

- What about the huge economic impact that the inclusion of the Banggai cardinalfish under Appendix II (which would not ban the collecting, but would have regulated it) would have brought to the local people? Delegations were easily led to believe that the proposal ignored the unquestionable hardship that the listing would have brought to so many people depending on the Banggai cardinalfish trade to sustain their families, and some used this to support their opposition.

However, the reality is very different. Currently there are 160,000 people living in the Banggai Islands. Less than 100 and probably no more than 60-80 are actively involved in the capture and trade of P. kauderni, representing less than 0.1 % of the local population. Even for those dedicated to the BC capture, the income generated by its trade is not their main source of income, but a complement to other more traditional sources of livelihood.
Fishers get about 3cents per fish. With an estimated 900,000 fish being shipped out each year, the economic value for the entire region is only US$ 27,000 / year. It is not a surprise that the vast majority of the Banggai region inhabitants choose to make their living with more profitable economic activities, such as their traditional fisheries, including food fish, squid, mollusks, seaweed culture and agriculture. Even those capturing (mostly with cyanide) other species of ornamental aquarium fishes earn much more than with the Banggai cardinalfish.
In addition, there was no market for the Banggai cardinalfish, and no collecting of this species took place prior to 1995. Therefore, the harvesting of this species cannot be considered a historical / traditional source of livelihood.

Unfortunately, nationalistic sensitivities, political pressure and various economic interests played a more influential roll in deciding the protection of the Banggai cardinalfish than the available information about the conservation status and trade of the species, and the actual position of the local people and NGO that supported the proposal.

By accepting the propaganda, and by ignoring the information provided in the proposal and additional documents, as well as the supporting position of the IUCN and many conservation organizations, CITES choose to give more value to the above economic figure than to the survival of an entire species endangered by the international trade, which is more appropriately what CITES should be focusing on. This species is truly representative of the Banggai islands. It is found no place else in the world and is unique to a small number of suitable habitat patches within its range. The cultural impact of loosing this species would go way beyond the loss of economic activity associated with it. In some ways, this fish defines the identity of the region and as such has a very high intrinsic value.

In the end, a great opportunity to put in place a long-term conservation project has been lost, and consequently the Banggai coral reefs ecosystems, which are relentlessly degraded by dynamite and other destructive fishing methods, the Banggai cardinalfish, and the local people are the big losers. The CITES II listing would have encouraged the development of local aquaculture activities and would have provided needed funding to develop and enforce a sustainable management plan which would have assured not only the future of the species but long term economic benefit for the local residents from this species. As it is now, the species is at extreme risk as is its economic impact. You cannot continue to make money from something that is no longer there.

Alejandro A. Vagelli, Ph.D.
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Postby DrHsu » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:59 am

Hi Dr Vagelli,

Glad you found the forum and thank you for your side of the story. There are always 2 sides to a coin and it's good to know both sides of any story.

Bottom line is that data can be manipulated in many ways to support all kinds of outcomes. There is a saying: "There are 3 kinds of lies....Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics!" :lol: ..... and I guess the other thing we learn is that politics gets into everything! :cry:

I differ in your conclusion that:
n the end, a great opportunity to put in place a long-term conservation project has been lost, and consequently the Banggai coral reefs ecosystems, which are relentlessly degraded by dynamite and other destructive fishing methods, the Banggai cardinalfish, and the local people are the big losers.


I think the opportunity is still there, and maybe even more so since the plight is now highlighted to many more NGO and govt bodies. Looking on the bright side of things, there is no option now for the Indonesian govt except to make sure whatever conservation plans they had mentioned are actually carried out - many eyes will be looking at them; and for sure this proposal will be brought up again at COP15 if nothing is done. With increased awareness of the issue, hopefully more funding will come from NGOs to make sure these plans are carried out.

Not meaning to argue or to be disrepectful, but just bringing up some things for discussion:

"Face" is a very asian thing, and I can't help but wonder if this proposal would have sailed through without any problems IF Indonesia (the only range state of the species) was a joint proposer......

....and also why did the US withdraw the proposal - many proposals go to vote even with numerous objections. The worst that can happen is that you lose the vote. Any insight into this decision, Alex?

(BTW, being a mod in this forum means I also have to do some housekeeping so I hope you don't mind if I delete your post in the sticky as it is a duplicate of this one, and this is a more appropriate forum for it. I will try to move the other posts, as well and re-direct on matt's news forum post.)
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Postby DrHsu » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:10 am

Ok....looks like
I can't move posts....or more likely I don't know how to! :lol: So....

Matt (mpederson) posted on Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:28 am
ALEX, I haven't even read your response yet, but I have to say WELCOME to MOFIB, glad you finally found us, and I'm sure you've just set the record straight on the Bangaii situation! Now I have to go back and read it Wink

Matt


John (BaboonScience) posted on Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:44 am
Alex
First, I assure you that the scientific community accepts your studies. We also realize the political maneuvering that drove withdrawl of this proposal. I for one would like to congratulate your hard work.

One way or another the harvest of these and other threatened ornamental marine fish will slow. Unfortunately, with unprotected fish, that will likely be due to severe reduction of wild populations. This will drive an increase in the price of wild caught in proportion to their rarity. That increase will drive a corresponding increase in the value of captive bred. Hopefully, the techniques developed on this very website will enable the availability of captive bred to outstrip wildcaught before the populations are decimated.

Note that these thoughts do not address the environmental impact of the removal of a species/niche from the ecological system in which it exists.

Thanks for the reply.


Sorry for the moves and deletes on the other side ...
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Postby KathyL » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:13 am

OK, very interesting and convincing. I am personally going to look into getting a pair of tank raised breeders. Perhaps I can keep the market closed to wild caught in my little corner of the world.
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Postby chaz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:33 pm

Hi,

I have 4 pairs, 2 have already spawned, 1 pair came from a local retailers display tank and were spawning, the last pair I am still waiting to see what happens.

Besides the ussual frozen foods I am feeding small earth worms and intend to feed unwanted hatches of clowns !!!

The only people I know to in the UK who have any success with Banghi's keep them in reef tanks where they get a rich natural diet, that is what we need to replicate in a breeding set up to have any real sucess with a species that has such a long incubation and carrying period.

Any comments,

Chaz.
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Re:

Postby avagelli » Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:13 pm

DrHsu wrote:Hi Dr Vagelli,

Glad you found the forum and thank you for your side of the story. There are always 2 sides to a coin and it's good to know both sides of any story.

Bottom line is that data can be manipulated in many ways to support all kinds of outcomes. There is a saying: "There are 3 kinds of lies....Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics!"

I am not sure what do you mean. But if I have 40 cookies, and the next day I only can find 10, you may call that “statistics”, but I will say that I have 30 less cookies.


:lol: ..... and I guess the other thing we learn is that politics gets into everything! :cry:

I don’t know if into everything, but it seems that plays a significant, and in my opinion, inappropriate roll in CITES.

I differ in your conclusion that:
n the end, a great opportunity to put in place a long-term conservation project has been lost, and consequently the Banggai coral reefs ecosystems, which are relentlessly degraded by dynamite and other destructive fishing methods, the Banggai cardinalfish, and the local people are the big losers.



I think the opportunity is still there, and maybe even more so since the plight is now highlighted to many more NGO and govt bodies.

When I mentioned the lost of a great opportunity to put in place a conservation project, I referred to a specific project that we already have planned. It included the transfer aquaculture technology, and help with a management and conservation program in association with a local NGO, the local fisheries department, and local communities. Funding for that project was promised, but it was depending (as well as my participation) on the listing of P. kauderni.

Looking on the bright side of things, there is no option now for the Indonesian govt except to make sure whatever conservation plans they had mentioned are actually carried out - many eyes will be looking at them; and for sure this proposal will be brought up again at COP15 if nothing is done. With increased awareness of the issue, hopefully more funding will come from NGOs to make sure these plans are carried out.

I hope so. But I would not be so sure about the prospects of a new proposal at the CoP15, even if the local authorities do not put in place any protective measure.

Not meaning to argue or to be disrepectful, but just bringing up some things for discussion:

"Face" is a very asian thing, and I can't help but wonder if this proposal would have sailed through without any problems IF Indonesia (the only range state of the species) was a joint proposer......

You are not disrespectful to me. I am not working for the US CITES, and therefore I did not play any roll in how this proposal was handled. My participation was limited to a) to recommend this species to be included under an appropriate Appendix, and 2) to provide the scientific data.
However, have been witnessed such a tremendous campaign of misinformation to defeat the proposal, which intended to protect a species in a clear dire conservation situation, makes me very skeptical about the range country willingness to joint it.
At the end the question is why?, why Indonesia would have supported the proposal if it would have invited to joint it (which, by the way, I am not sure whether or not it was). What would have been the difference? The data would have been the same and consequently the proposal would have been similar; the aim would have been the same (App. II), as well as the outcomes.
Maybe “face” was more important than the species. Maybe politics, maybe economic interest groups led by the European and US lobbyists for the aquarium fish trade who did a lot of pushing to defeat the proposal, the Bali exporters, or maybe those groups using the humanitarian develop “strategy” to seek foreign funding and sociopolitical gain.

What I can tell is that upon my return from the Banggai region in March, and after became aware of some rumors regarding Indonesia having doubts about supporting the proposal, I decided to travel to Jakarta to meet the CITES Indonesian officials in order to present all my data on the Banggai cardinalfish, including latest (March 07) data on its trade, populations and habitat destruction, so they could have all the information available to better asses the species and trade situation. I spent a week meeting with many local, regional and federal Authorities, doing presentations, providing them all my (lab and field) data and publications. The most significant meeting was with the Director of CITES Indonesia and his staff. After hearing my presentation he expressed his convincement that Pterapogon kauderni should be listed in CITES, and if it were up to him, in Appendix I. Afterwards, he requested me to come back to Jakarta to present the data to the political Authorities that were planning to meet within a couple of weeks to decide Indonesian positions on all Cop14 proposals. Again, and with no objection by US CITES Authorities, I made the second trip for just that meeting, which was attended by all the Scientific and Political Indonesian Authorities, representatives from many Governmental Departments, IUCN-TRAFFIC Indonesia, several NGOs and other stakeholders. When it ended, the director of CITES Indonesia announced that the position of Indonesia will be “to support the Banggai proposal, but with a request of two years for implementing it.
It seems that between May 24 (second Jakarta meeting) and some time during the first week of June, some or all of the above-mentioned groups convinced the Political Authorities to oppose the proposal. The problem was, I guess, how to dispute the field / trade data?


....and also why did the US withdraw the proposal - many proposals go to vote even with numerous objections. The worst that can happen is that you lose the vote. Any insight into this decision, Alex?

I agree. But to be fear, it was more than just “numerous objections”. As an outside observer standpoint, politics is the first word that came to my mind.


(BTW, being a mod in this forum means I also have to do some housekeeping so I hope you don't mind if I delete your post in the sticky as it is a duplicate of this one, and this is a more appropriate forum for it. I will try to move the other posts, as well and re-direct on matt's news forum post.)

Thank you, and sorry for the repetition
Alex
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Postby DrHsu » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:55 am

Thanks for your reply, Alex.

The stab at statistics was just a joke :D Absolute numbers don't lie, but I suppose in complex statistical analysis with all kinds of assumptions and modelling, the figures can be made out to be favourable or unfavourable depending on how you manipulate them. It was the favourite quote of debaters in my school :lol:

Well, for sure politics would have had a role to play. Maybe the US needed their help in some other vote? (has happened before but not that I am aware of this time although there was one other "interesting" Indonesian vote...)

In any case, hopefully the NGOs and all other parties involved would see the value of the conservation project you mentioned and decide to go forward with it, with or without CITES listing.
Li Chieh

Otherwise known as marinebetta in most marine forums.....

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"It's what you learn after you think you know it all..that matters" - Anon
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Postby avagelli » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:10 am

HI,
I think most of you are already aware of the good news: the Banggai cardinalfish has been included the IUCN red list of threatened species under the “Endangered” category (There is only one worst listing -except extinct-, of course).

It is very refreshing to see the results of an objective evaluation of its conservation status solely based on technical data / scientific information, particularly when is done by a worldwide respected organization such as the IUCN.

It is difficult to avoid comparisons with the outcome of the proposal to include the Banggai cardinalfish in Appendix II of CITES, which was based on the same data.
At the Cop 14, the science and conservation status were disregarded, and the reasons for opposing to protect this species are rooted in political and economic interests.

Now, it should be no doubts about the bleak conservation situation of the Banggai cardinalfish, the lack of any meaningful conservation action by the local government or any other party, and the need of developing captive breeding programs to replace the wild harvest as much as possible.

Cheers,

Alejandro Vagelli, Ph.D.
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Re: Bangaii Cardinalfish listed on IUCN Red List

Postby mpedersen » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:47 am

avagelli wrote:HI,
I think most of you are already aware of the good news: the Banggai cardinalfish has been included the IUCN red list of threatened species under the “Endangered” category (There is only one worst listing -except extinct-, of course).


This is news to me! What does this mean for international trade in the species? When did this happen?

Matt
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