coral trade

Don McAllister mcall at
Fri Dec 5 09:33:57 EST 1997

Francesca Marubini wrote:

> I would like to know what is the general opinion on the increasing trade in
> hermatypic corals for private aquaria.

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) controls hard
coral trade under Appendix II.  Thus trade is allowed but must be accompanied by
proper export and import certificates.  Trade out of some countries is declining
and indeed forbidden.  Trade in live corals out of Indonesia to EU has grown from
3,629 pieces in 1990 to 59,107 pieces in 1995 according to TRAFFIC Europe.

> Is it regulated by any international
> law? If it is illegal to collect corals in many countries, why is it legal
> (at least in UK and Italy, where I have checked) to import and sell live
> coral which presumably comes from natural reefs?

Of course there are the usual problems with corruption and faking on CITES

> Are there any 'coral farms'?

Some public aquaria are successfully breeding and sharing pieces of coral which
can be grown by others.    Ocean Voice's quarterly bulletin, Sea Wind, had an
article on a coral farm in Indiana, U.S.A.  Of course, according to the
International Convention on Biological Diversity, benefits derived from
components of biodiversity should be shared with the country of origin; that
requirement offers encouragement to the country of origin to continue protecting
its species from undue exploitation or extinction caused by undue development.

Don E. McAllister             /& Canadian Centre for Biodiversity
Ocean Voice International          /Canadian Museum of Nature
Box 37026, 3332 McCarthy Rd. /Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, ON K1V 0W0, Canada    /Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4
URL:  E-mail: mcall at
 (or: ah194 at Tel: (613) 264-8986, Fax: (613) 264-9204

More information about the Coral-list-old mailing list