Fwd: no danger for reefs thanks to CITES

firefish at sltnet.lk firefish at sltnet.lk
Mon Feb 14 08:31:03 EST 2000

As far as I am aware the species listed under Appendix 1. of CITES is Banned
from "COMMERCIAL" exploitation, and Appendix 2. is allowed limited
commercial exploitation. But all species in both lists are allowed to be
shipped under permit for Research purposes. 

Granted this causes some hassle to the Scientist in securing permits etc.
But if the research is a "Legitimate" one I would not believe that it is all
that difficult to convince local authorities in getting the necessary
clearance. (And I hope we would bear it up in the name of the greater good
of the reef from souvenir taking and un-regulated export.)

One need to keep perspective on the issue, the law was not drafted to
control the reef scientists. but the growing threat of commercial
exploitation. both as bulk. and for Bio-tech research (which has raised some
concerns among countries of origin about Intellectual property rights etc.)
I just hope as scientists and workers concerned with the sustainability  and
survival of the reefs in general we would go that extra distance to get the
necessary authorizations for the sake of reefs. 

The effort to undermine the threat posed by the export oriented extraction
pressure on reefs by pointing at all sorts of other reef degrading practices
is like saying that we need not regulate road traffic to reduce traffic
accidents because all sorts of other causes like Heart diseases, cancer,
Aids and a host of other things kill people regularly.  I would not say that
extraction IS the biggest cause of reef degradation. but coming from a third
world country and working on the local reefs regularly the reality of the
export trade on the target reef communities leave no doubt on our mind of
the impact of it.

Prasanna Weerakkody
Nature Conservation Group (Natcog)

No.9, Balapokuna place,
Colombo 6.
Sri Lanka

Phone: (941) 856041

E-mail:	firefish at sltnet.lk	

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