Corals are aqcuired by the exporters I visit from either their own farm and divers or purchased from others. The corals are farmed or collected from remote islands and then shipped to Jakarta where the exporters are located near the international airport. Permits are needed to collect and ship the corals within the country and to export them out of the country. On our side, the shipment is inspected by the US Fish & Wildlife Service to be sure we are importing the correct corals and they match what is listed on the permits. Customs must also clear the shipment and a broker must be hired to organize and maintain all paperwork. Just as it takes me two days to travel to and from Jakarta, the same holds true for the corals, plus the time it takes to pack them, get them to the airport hours before departure, inspected and retrieved them once they arrive in the US, and then brought back to our facility and unpacked. The entire process can take 50 or more hours. Generally, mortality is low because I have inspected every coral days before they were packed and weeded out any that may have looked weak or damaged and also cleaned off any sponge of dead materials that can foul the packing water.
We sell both wholesale and retail and often the majority of a shipment may be sent to retailers across the country immediately upon clearance into the US. A small portion may be brought to out facility and often is used as broodstock for our farm.
In my next blog I will be addressing the status of the current Indonesia shut down and impact on the hobby.