CITES stuff

Bob Mankin bob at
Sat Feb 19 22:18:45 EST 2000

"Fernando A. Zapata" wrote:
> Please correct me if I'm wrong, but paradoxically it was thanks to science
> and scientists that conservation of species and habitats became an
> important issue. It is a shame that laws and regulations such as CITES are
> now preventing  scientists from doing their work, or at least making it
> really difficult. I know of at least two instances (one in which I was
> directly involved) of international scientific cooperation completely
> halted because of CITES. What's worse, at least in my country, while we
> scientists try to do things correctly (and therefore go through the hassle
> of resquesting permits) almost any one can just go and collect anything
> without asking anyone for permits for whatever non-scientific use. And
> nothing happens. So something must be really wrong here.


Please correct me if I am wrong, but at the time Scleractinia was added
to the Appendix II of CITES, there was little to no scientific data to
support such a move as being necessary. I believe the move was made by
environmentalist interests rather than the scientific community. I mean
think about it. What majority interest in the 1970s was saying that
coral reefs were in immanent danger and why did they only propose the
species that they did? 

I was recently reading a hand written paper done by someone familiar
with the proceedings that year that said it was basically pushed through
with little or no debate due to the fact everyone was in such an uproar
over the ivory issue at the time. They had debated that one so long and
hard that by the time the coral listing was put forth, any opposing
viewpoints were already worn down. Opportunistic if you ask me.

Now realizing that these comments are like kicking a hornets nest, I
would like to remind contrary views that you will need to provide data
pre 1977 to support the idea that this App. II addition was done with
solid scientific study and backing. Anything since then doesn't aid the

Bob Mankin

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