JSprung at compuserve.com
Sun Mar 19 11:26:41 EST 2000
[Note from coral-list admin: this is Julian Sprung's complete message,
Dear Coral list,
I received this message on another list and thought I'd share it with you
The situation described below highlights a problem of "enforcement" of
Cites. While I support the Cites protection of corals and feel it is a
valuable tool for tracking the trade and keeping it legitimate, there is a
problem when issues of taxonomy become the matter upon which enforcement is
Personally, I don't think we should expect Fish and Wildlife officers to be
taxonomists! It is clear that coral taxonomists don't necessarily agree
among themselves on some details, so how can anyone reasonably base an
enforcement decision on taxonomy?
I think this would be a worthwhile subject to address at the ICRS in Bali.
For what it's worth, I propose that situations like the one described below
should be resolved in the following manner:
1. The F&W officer notes a difference between his/her opinion of the coral
ID and the name listed on the cites document.
2. The F&W officer corrects the name, notifies the importer.
3. One says thank you the other have a nice day.
Perhaps someone in the list believes an administrative penalty should be
assessed or something. Why? The agent importing corals has requested a
certain number of a named species. The exporter has shipped that exact
number of what he believes is that species. No one is attempting to break
the law. I believe that the need to "enforce" in this situation completely
misses the intent of CITES.
Here is the message I recieived on another list-
I'm wondering if anyone out there has info about the publication in
which Trachyphyllia and Wellsophyllia have been synonimized. Julian's
new book mentions this, and gives two citations. Anybody know about
this? The reason I'm asking is because I just received 24 of what I
would call Trachyphyllia with fused adjacent valleys. USF&G seized
these because they think they are Wellsophyllia, but they were labeled
on the permits as Trachyphyllia.
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA 94118
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