Coral Harvesting for Jewelry (fwd)

Rick Grigg rgrigg at
Sat Mar 8 14:04:10 EST 1997

To Jim Coulter,

	Regarding your inquiry about the status of harvesting precious
corals, see my paper in Marine Fisheries Review, 1993, Vol. 55:50-60, for
a review of the subject.  In Hawaii, there has been a black coral fishery
for about 38 years; it is well managed by virtue of size limits (4 feet
minimum height for colonies of Antipathes grandis and Antipathes
dichotoma) and an estimate of MSY that has never been exceeded.  A model
based on the Beverton-Holt yield recruit analysis was used to estimate
MSY.  It is an example that illustrates it is possible to harvest corals
successfully.  In contrast, the pink and red precious coral fishery in the
North Pacific has not been well managed and is seriously over-exploited.
Much of the resource is outside of 200 miles and regulation is virtually
impossible.  It is common property and another example of the tragedy of
the commons.  What is needed are multi-lateral treaties among countries
that exploit the resource (Japan and Taiwan and the US).  See my paper for
more details.
					Richard Grigg, Univ. of Hawaii

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