A Northern Territory company has exported its hand-harvested coral to China for the first time since it began operating in 2008.
Monsoon Aquatics Director, Daniel Kimberley said the shipment had been two years in the making and had involved plenty of red tape.
“The coral is being shipped to China for display in aquariums so it is not food or dead. It will all be living and on display for Chinese people to buy and view,” he said.
The consignment being flown to China is predominantly made up of the bright ‘jellyfish like’ coral, Euphyllia Paraancora.
“It is something I have wanted to do for a while. Obviously China is a really big place and we want to take baby steps into that market.
“So rather than supply large quantities, cheap and for the masses, we want to do high quality Australian, Northern Territory product at a higher price.”
Current coral export destinations
China is the latest market to come on for the company’s expanding portfolio of export destinations.
“We have [customers in] Hong Kong, America and we send to Japan, UK, Holland,” Mr Kimberley said.
“It would be easier to say where we don’t [export coral to] and that is Russia and Ukraine and South Korea … but they are on the radar.”
He said they did not export to Indonesia because they were the main competitor, exported to everywhere else and supplied all around Australia.
So why did China choose Top End coral?
Mr Kimberley said the middle class in China were very environmentally aware and Australia had a very good reputation for clean and green and Australia’s fisheries had a very good reputation for being sustainable.
“The Chinese customers — the bigger players — want to be seen as doing the right thing and by buying Australian that is a really easy way for them to say ‘look we are buying from sustainable, accredited suppliers’.”
The 200 pieces of coral has been flown directly from Darwin to Guangzhou with a total travel time of 24 hours.
Originally Published by ABC News, view original article here.