JAKARTA/BATAM, Indonesia — Indonesian authorities are investigating a network smuggling wild-caught lobster larvae to Singapore, following the seizures of two shipments worth an estimated 33.9 billion rupiah, or about $2.2 million. “The smuggling of lobster larvae remains rampant because there’s still such high demand for it from abroad coupled with some people who really are benefiting from the smuggling itself,” Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, the Indonesian fisheries minister, said in a statement sent to Mongabay on Sept. 28. Authorities made the first seizure, worth Rp 30 billion ($2 million), from a boat headed from Indonesia’s Riau Islands to Singapore, about an hour away, on Aug. 28. The second shipment, worth Rp 3.9 billion ($257,000), was impounded at the Jakarta international airport on Sept. 12, also destined for Singapore. In both cases, local smugglers appeared to be working with counterparts in Singapore, who had a “schedule” for deliveries into the city. Lobster larvae confiscated from a failed smuggling attempt. Image by Suryadi/Mongabay Indonesia. Hundreds of thousands of lobster larvae were confiscated from a foiled smuggling attempt in August. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Exports of lobster larvae were banned in 2016 by then-fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti in an effort to conserve the declining wild population and tackle the illegal lobster market. Susi’s successor, Edhy Prabowo, lifted the ban in May 2020, but was later jailed for taking bribes in exchange for awarding export licenses to companies controlled by his cronies. Sakti, who succeeded Edhy, reinstated the…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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