Tom.Hourigan at noaa.gov
Mon Dec 8 17:34:20 EST 1997
Just a small correction on the discussion posted on corals and the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and
Fauna (CITES). As noted by Don McAllister, most corals are included
in CITES Appendix II. This includes all species in the Orders
Coenothecalia (e.g., blue corals), Antipatheria (black corals),
Scleratinia (the reef-building stony corals); and all species in the
families Tubiporidae, Milleporidae (e.g., the fire corals) and
Appendix II of CITES regulates trade in species not threatened with
extinction, but which may become threatened if trade goes unregulated.
This is in contrast with Appendix I, which protects threatened
species (e.g., rhinos) from all international commercial trade.
An exporter must obtain a CITES export permit for each shipment from the
national CITES authority (in the U.S. this is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service). In order to issue an export permit, the CITES authority must two
1) A scientific finding of non-detriment indicating that export is
unlikely to be detrimental to the survival of the species; and
2) A finding that the specimens were acquired legally.
When properly applied, CITES can be one of the most important tools to
help countries sustainably manage their natural heritage. Full
implementation, however requires good training and enforcement - which
is often difficult for developing countries with limited resources. It
is likely that corals are lower on the list of priorities for many
countries than are more easily visible terrestrial species.
Fiji is due to become a Party to CITES before the end of the year, at
which time CITES will have 143 members. Indonesia IS a Party, having
ratified in 1979. Fijian government officials are concerned about the
growing trade in corals, as are an increasing number of scientists and
and resource managers in many countries.
Hope this is helpful,
Thomas F. Hourigan, Ph.D.
Office of Protected Resources
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: (301) 713-2319; Fax: (301) 713-0376
Tom.Hourigan at noaa.gov
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: coral trade
Author: carlson at soest.hawaii.edu at EXTERNAL
Date: 12/5/97 2:21 PM
Corals are protected by the Convention on the International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES). However, countries such as Indonesia and
Fiji have not signed this treaty. Corals can be collected and shipped out
of these countries legally to the United States and elsewhere although
some documentation that the collecting has not harmed the natural
population is required by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. I'm not an
expert on this area but that is my general understanding.
As for Coral Farms, we have one here and there are several others
operating in the United States. Under the right conditions (either
artifical or natural as in our case), Acropora corals and other branching
species are about as difficult to grow as crabgrass and with growth rates
up to 20cm per year we have more of a problem disposing of the excess
growth. We began growing corals here in 1977 and now maintain 75
species (including some of the original colonies). We provide living
corals to researchers (most recently for toxicology tests), and to other
public aquariums in the US. Many public aquariums in the US are beginning
to grow their own corals and this trend will increase as our techniques
continue to improve.
For anyone else out there receiving this message, the Waikiki Aquarium is
not a commerical supplier of corals. We do not have enough staff to
pack and ship corals to everyone who asks for them.
On Fri, 5 Dec 1997, Francesca Marubini wrote:
> Dear coral-listers,
> I would like to know what is the general opinion on the increasing trade in
> hermatypic corals for private aquaria. Is it regulated by any international
> law? If it is illegal to collect corals in many countries, why is it legal
> (at least in UK and Italy, where I have checked) to import and sell live
> coral which presumably comes from natural reefs? Are there any 'coral farms'?
> Francesca Marubini
> please reply directly to me at : f.marubini at iol.it
More information about the Coral-list-old