[Coral-List] question regarding importation of red coral to the USA

Anne Cohen acohen at whoi.edu
Sat Sep 6 13:38:16 EDT 2003

Dear All
A jewellery supplier in Massachussetts contacted me regarding a shipment
of "synthetic" red coral they received from Thailand, that was
subsequently held but not confiscated by US Fish and Wildlife who issued
the supplier with a "Notification of Wildlife Importation/Exportation
Violation". Apparently USFW had tested the items and found them to be
real coral.

The jewellery supplier is anxious to learn more and avoid illegal
importations. I'd appreciate your comments and answers to these specific
questions that were addressed to me:

If it is "real" coral is all coral considered endangered and banned
from Importation into the U.S., or O.K. to import with a license? We
have taken much time to research this, but the information  on coral is
vast. It seems there are thousands of types of coral. Some perhaps more
endangered than others? Is there any difference when importing "live"
coral as compared to "dead" coral. It seems coral is very easy to
purchase, both live (as for fish tanks) and the type for
ornamentation/jewelry. How can that be if it cannot be legally imported
into the U.S.? Is coral cultivated in certain countries for re-sale?

Many Thanks

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