Legality of Caribbean stony corals on maricultured live rock?

J. Charles Delbeek delbeek at
Tue Aug 22 18:03:42 EDT 2000

On Tue, 22 Aug 2000 capman at wrote:

> As I understand it, the maricultured live rock being produced in the
> Florida Keys and elsewhere for the aquarium trade is often colonized by a
> variety of different stony coral species.  Does anyone on the list know
> enough about the CITES regulations (which as I understand it prohibit the
> keeping of Caribbean stony corals in aquaria) to say whether keeping these
> otherwise illegal corals in aquaria is legal if they crop up on legally
> produced cultivated live rock?

Bill: I don't think it is illegal to keep any stony corals in
captivity. CITIES is primarily a tracking system to help keep track of the
movement of organisms around the world as well as to regulate their export
and import. I do not believe Caribbean corals are treated any differently
by CITIES than say stony corals from Fiji. What DOES differ are the
regulations of individual countries and states as to collection and
import/export live coral. For example, it is illegal to collect stony
corals in Hawaii, it is illegal to export stony corals and it is illegal
to import soft and stony corals, unless you have the necessary permits.

Regarding the coral that settles out on aquacultured live rock in Florida
waters, this is perfectly legal according to state regulations concerning
live rock aquaculture. These sites are situated in open sandy plains, far
from any actual reefs. The feeling is that any corals or other organisms
that settle on rock in these barren areas, would not have settled there to
begin with.

J. Charles Delbeek

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