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Large-Scale Trade in Legally Protected Marine Mollusc Shells from Java and Bali, Indonesia.

Nijman V, Spaan D, Nekaris KA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Data from 20 confiscated shipments show an on-going trade in these molluscs.Two-thirds of this trade was destined for international markets, including in the USA and Asia-Pacific region.This impedes protection of these species on the ground and calls into question the effectiveness of protected species management in Indonesia; solutions are unlikely to be found only in Indonesia and must involve the cooperation of importing countries.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, OX3 0BP, Oxford, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: Tropical marine molluscs are traded globally. Larger species with slow life histories are under threat from over-exploitation. We report on the trade in protected marine mollusc shells in and from Java and Bali, Indonesia. Since 1987 twelve species of marine molluscs are protected under Indonesian law to shield them from overexploitation. Despite this protection they are traded openly in large volumes.

Methodology/principal findings: We collected data on species composition, origins, volumes and prices at two large open markets (2013), collected data from wholesale traders (2013), and compiled seizure data by the Indonesian authorities (2008-2013). All twelve protected species were observed in trade. Smaller species were traded for 32,000 shells valued at USD500,000), chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) (>3,000 shells, USD60,000) and giant clams (Tridacna spp.) (>2,000 shells, USD45,000) were traded in largest volumes. Two-thirds of this trade was destined for international markets, including in the USA and Asia-Pacific region.

Conclusions/significance: We demonstrated that the trade in protected marine mollusc shells in Indonesia is not controlled nor monitored, that it involves large volumes, and that networks of shell collectors, traders, middlemen and exporters span the globe. This impedes protection of these species on the ground and calls into question the effectiveness of protected species management in Indonesia; solutions are unlikely to be found only in Indonesia and must involve the cooperation of importing countries.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Price-size relationships for shells in trade.Prices of horned helmet Cassis cornuta, Triton’s trumpet Charonia tritonis and chambered nautilus Nautilus pompilius shells in relation to size, in Pangandaran, Indonesia, June 2013. Prices were given in Indonesian rupiah and are here converted to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 10,000 rupiah to the dollar. Small-sized symbols indicate single shells, medium-sized indicate two shells and large-sized symbols three shells; regression lines are for horned helmet and Triton’s trumpet only.
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pone.0140593.g004: Price-size relationships for shells in trade.Prices of horned helmet Cassis cornuta, Triton’s trumpet Charonia tritonis and chambered nautilus Nautilus pompilius shells in relation to size, in Pangandaran, Indonesia, June 2013. Prices were given in Indonesian rupiah and are here converted to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 10,000 rupiah to the dollar. Small-sized symbols indicate single shells, medium-sized indicate two shells and large-sized symbols three shells; regression lines are for horned helmet and Triton’s trumpet only.

Mentions: Asking prices for bear paw clam, China clam, marbled turban and commercial top shell at Pangadaran were typically between USD 0.15 to USD 0.30 per shell, with some quotes as high as USD 1.00. These shells are often sold in larger quantities and traders do lower their asking price when bartering for the purchase of multiple individuals. No prices were requested for these species from Pasir Putih, but it is likely that they fall in the same range. For chambered nautilus there appeared to be no difference between prices in Pangandaran or Pasir Putih, with shells averaging around USD 17.00. For shells measuring between 16 and 21 cm there was no effect of size on the asking price (Fig 4); instead pricing was based on the quality of the specimen and its pattern. The average price of horned helmet at Pangandaran was also around USD 17.00. Corrected for size, prices in Pasir Putih were typically 20% lower. Prices of Triton’s trumpet shells at Pangandaran averaged USD 35.00, and there was an increase of USD 2.00 for each cm increase in size. Prices at Pasir Putih appeared to be similar. Giant clam were sold for around USD 25.00, with lower prices for single shells and higher prices for complete double-shelled specimens. False trumpet was the most expensive shell ranging between USD 50.00 and USD 70.00. Details of prices and sizes are presented in Fig 4 and Table 3.


Large-Scale Trade in Legally Protected Marine Mollusc Shells from Java and Bali, Indonesia.

Nijman V, Spaan D, Nekaris KA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Price-size relationships for shells in trade.Prices of horned helmet Cassis cornuta, Triton’s trumpet Charonia tritonis and chambered nautilus Nautilus pompilius shells in relation to size, in Pangandaran, Indonesia, June 2013. Prices were given in Indonesian rupiah and are here converted to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 10,000 rupiah to the dollar. Small-sized symbols indicate single shells, medium-sized indicate two shells and large-sized symbols three shells; regression lines are for horned helmet and Triton’s trumpet only.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696778&req=5

pone.0140593.g004: Price-size relationships for shells in trade.Prices of horned helmet Cassis cornuta, Triton’s trumpet Charonia tritonis and chambered nautilus Nautilus pompilius shells in relation to size, in Pangandaran, Indonesia, June 2013. Prices were given in Indonesian rupiah and are here converted to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 10,000 rupiah to the dollar. Small-sized symbols indicate single shells, medium-sized indicate two shells and large-sized symbols three shells; regression lines are for horned helmet and Triton’s trumpet only.
Mentions: Asking prices for bear paw clam, China clam, marbled turban and commercial top shell at Pangadaran were typically between USD 0.15 to USD 0.30 per shell, with some quotes as high as USD 1.00. These shells are often sold in larger quantities and traders do lower their asking price when bartering for the purchase of multiple individuals. No prices were requested for these species from Pasir Putih, but it is likely that they fall in the same range. For chambered nautilus there appeared to be no difference between prices in Pangandaran or Pasir Putih, with shells averaging around USD 17.00. For shells measuring between 16 and 21 cm there was no effect of size on the asking price (Fig 4); instead pricing was based on the quality of the specimen and its pattern. The average price of horned helmet at Pangandaran was also around USD 17.00. Corrected for size, prices in Pasir Putih were typically 20% lower. Prices of Triton’s trumpet shells at Pangandaran averaged USD 35.00, and there was an increase of USD 2.00 for each cm increase in size. Prices at Pasir Putih appeared to be similar. Giant clam were sold for around USD 25.00, with lower prices for single shells and higher prices for complete double-shelled specimens. False trumpet was the most expensive shell ranging between USD 50.00 and USD 70.00. Details of prices and sizes are presented in Fig 4 and Table 3.

Bottom Line: Data from 20 confiscated shipments show an on-going trade in these molluscs.Two-thirds of this trade was destined for international markets, including in the USA and Asia-Pacific region.This impedes protection of these species on the ground and calls into question the effectiveness of protected species management in Indonesia; solutions are unlikely to be found only in Indonesia and must involve the cooperation of importing countries.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, OX3 0BP, Oxford, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: Tropical marine molluscs are traded globally. Larger species with slow life histories are under threat from over-exploitation. We report on the trade in protected marine mollusc shells in and from Java and Bali, Indonesia. Since 1987 twelve species of marine molluscs are protected under Indonesian law to shield them from overexploitation. Despite this protection they are traded openly in large volumes.

Methodology/principal findings: We collected data on species composition, origins, volumes and prices at two large open markets (2013), collected data from wholesale traders (2013), and compiled seizure data by the Indonesian authorities (2008-2013). All twelve protected species were observed in trade. Smaller species were traded for 32,000 shells valued at USD500,000), chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) (>3,000 shells, USD60,000) and giant clams (Tridacna spp.) (>2,000 shells, USD45,000) were traded in largest volumes. Two-thirds of this trade was destined for international markets, including in the USA and Asia-Pacific region.

Conclusions/significance: We demonstrated that the trade in protected marine mollusc shells in Indonesia is not controlled nor monitored, that it involves large volumes, and that networks of shell collectors, traders, middlemen and exporters span the globe. This impedes protection of these species on the ground and calls into question the effectiveness of protected species management in Indonesia; solutions are unlikely to be found only in Indonesia and must involve the cooperation of importing countries.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus