[Coral-List] Josemite Sam

Charles Delbeek delbeek at waquarium.org
Thu Feb 14 15:51:40 EST 2008

Having read the posts concerning these supposedly "illegal" corals, I 
would urge some of you to please familiarize yourself with CITES; what 
exactly it is, what its intent is, and what the definitions and 
restrictions are when dealing with Appendice I, II and III organisms.

Provided the reseller has the proper CITES export permit from the 
country of purchase, and provided that the collection of coral in the 
country of origin is not illegal under any laws within that country, and 
provided that the import of coral into the country selling said product 
is legal, there is *nothing *illegal or nefarious going on here.

However, I would ask Mr. Blum, aside from looking at the rather small 
and low resolution photos on the website, have you actually seen these 
corals in person? To my eyes (poor as they have become) and limited by 
the low quality and small size of the images, these could be artificial 
corals. I have seen several examples of white clay and porcelain corals 
and Tridacnid clam shells for sale in curio shops lately. Perhaps these 
are what they are? Also, the reseller may claim these are from the GBR 
but that does not mean they actually are or that they are even real 
corals, it could just be marketing hype for all anyone knows. The only 
way to know is to actually see a sample of what is being sold. For 
example, at a local craft show a few years ago, a woman had a booth 
selling jewelry made from "blue coral". She claimed it was from Hawaii 
and that it used to be plentiful but almost disappeared, but was now 
making a comeback in the Hawaiian Islands. This coral has never been 
here and is not now. So marketing rules in many of these cases and the 
old Latin adage "caveat emptor" applies!

J. Charles Delbeek

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