Indonesia is home to a variety of fish species, of which the majority are native species. The Indonesian government has taken steps to conserve the endemic fish which face extinction due to the breeding of foreign species in their waters. The Marine and Fisheries ministry of Indonesia has employed preventive measures to curb the influence of foreign fish based on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. This includes the issuing of directives which oversee the controlling of invasive species. These fish species vary in size, behavior, and appearance. Some of the fish include the Silver seabream, tiger shark, and red dragonet.
Beyond Indonesia, the Silver Seabream (Pagrus auratus) is also to be found along the coasts of New Zealand, the Tasmanian islands, and Australia. This fish prefers to spawn in waters less than 50 meters deep and mature adults can be found in large schools. They live in rocky areas and reefs of at least 200 meters deep where they will migrate between reefs. The larger fish can be found in estuaries and harbors. They grow to a length of 30 centimeters and at this stage sexual maturity is reached. The silver bream can live up to 40 years. At sexual maturity, a small percentage of the males turn into females, while large individuals with both sexes develop a prominent hump on the head.
The Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is one of the largest sharks in the world, growing up to 3 meters in length, and it can be found in Indonesia’s waters. Its name is derived from the characteristic vertical stripe markings that run across its body length. The adult tiger shark is bluish-green in color with a distinctive body shape of a broad head and upper part which then becomes slender towards the tail. It is a nocturnal hunter with a wide food spectrum which includes turtles, birds, crustaceans, fish, birds and squid. It is tolerant to a wide variety of marine environment and can be found in estuaries, harbors, and near inlets. The tiger shark is classified as a Near Threatened species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
The giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) is capable of growing to 1.3 meters in length and weighing around 20 kilograms. it is native to Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Indonesia, it can be found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. It can grow up to 6 feet long. It is known for killing more fish than it can consume and can be dangerous to native species in other places. The giant snakehead has an eel-like body and a head which is mostly mouth. Young giant head snakes have varying colors from red, orange and black which fade over time.
The Borneo shark (Carcharhinus borneensis), as its name suggests, can be found around the island of Borneo in Indonesia, and in the inshore waters near Mukah in the northwestern region of the island. It is a very rare shark and classified as an endangered species. It lives in shallow coastal waters and the main threat to its existence is fishing by humans. Its body is characterized by a long pointed snout, thin body, narrow nostrils and a series of pores around the mouth which are unique to this genus.
The red dragonet (Foetorepus altivelis) is native to the Indian Ocean's waters and is found mostly in Southeast Asian countries. It can be found in depths of between 60 meters and 700 meters. the male species grow to a length of 17 centimeters while the female grows to 13 centimeters long. It is an important species for commercial purposes of the local fisheries.
Other native species to Indonesian waters include the Indonesian Coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis), Psychedelic Frogfish (Histiophryne psychedelica), Giant Mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri), Masked Triggerfish (Sufflamen fraenatum), and Kai stingaree (Urolophus kaianus).