[Coral-List] Selling Coral

anne sheppard a.sheppard at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 14 15:09:28 EST 2008

CITES does not ban the import of species, it only regulates it.  The government of countries of origin of the material may or may not have laws to control export.  The only outright bans on importing into Europe are agreed ‘endangered’ species and here there are only two, Catalaphyllia and another one, I can’t remember which.
I spoke to the people at Steven Thorne Designs who are selling the coral; they were quite open about talking about it.  They are an interior design company and they told me they have all the legal CITES import permits to bring the corals into this country.  They said that it took 10 months and a lot of money to get the paperwork.  They have many large pieces on their website for £100s each so it seems to be worth it.  
Having tangled horribly with CITES to bring in thumbnail sized pieces for genetic work, the system does seem to be confused.  The 'T' in CITES is Trade though and so maybe there should be something different for research.
That said, the people at Steven Thorne told me that the coral was dead when collected and that it was ‘harvested’ from areas which had been killed after a cyclone had passed through, hmm, those big Seriatopora on the website don’t look like they have been near a cyclone!  They also told me that it was “just like collecting leaves from the lawn” and that it was a good thing to do because it made space for new coral to grow.  Well you live and learn!Anne Sheppard  
Telly addicts unite!

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