[Coral-List] Mediterranean Red Coral
Kerim Ben Mustapha
karim.benmustrapha at instm.rnrt.tn
Wed Feb 3 05:27:28 EST 2010
-ear Dr Tsounis
Thank you for your comments, advices, and deep analysis of the corallium case. Special
thanks also to the references you gives.
As i wrote in a previous mail I´m in favor of a listing, because I think that CITES is the only
international fora -re bio resources- which involves the international trade's concept , thus
goods export (and import), thus the control by the customs department of the country (and
that of the ministry of Finances), that means bodies able to control, to report and "reprimand",
which is not the case now, because the only bodies that are monitoring this crucial issue are
those -generally- of/from the agriculture/fisheries departments, the same that are monitoring
the management of the resources, with limited power -some how-. (Of course bio resources as
goods are also "relevant" to the CDB and the GATT fora).
I´m also for this listing because it will oblige the countries to "control" their international trade
of coral, thus to control the management of the resources under the supervision of a scientific
body. You pointed out whether this body will be an independent one? I agree with you its an
important question because it could drives us to an amazing mismanagement of the stock if
this body is not independent, or if this body is under the influence of the industry...But here we
are, we lack regional (and even national) legislation and cooperation able to fulfill the
requirement for a sustainable management of the "corallium rubrum" population, a part from
a rhetorical point of view., and even when binding instruments exist at a national level, their
implementation are not satisfactory.
Regarding the model / management issue, this "prediction of the future" based on hypothesis
and results that could not be meet and generalized all over the Mediterranean, neither on
shallow and deeper patches of corallium population. As it´s pointed out in the excellent report
(proceedings of the corallium workshop, China 2009) their population fellows different bio
and ecological strategies (growth rate, recruitment, fertility, spawning, stress, resilience etc).
In addition to all this, as you wrote in your paper "Unofficial estimates by fishermen
themselves quote that there are as many or more poachers active in Spain than licensed
divers" [the same apply in Tunisia, as corailleurs (divers) reported to me that they all -still-
uses a modified "ingegno" , that they immerse or sink (after taking its gps position) at the
approach of the coast guard patrol] for all these reasons a strong and conservative approach
is needed, because the management of the fisheries on itself is not sufficient due to the high
level of interests that interact and interfere. Is this aspect will be covered by the listing in
CITES annex 2? I think so.
Thank you again for your excellent imputs
On 28 Jan 2010 at 20:43, Georgios Tsounis wrote:
since the question has been posted whether C. rubrum should be listed on CITES appendix
II, I made some inquiries that I would like to share in order to be more specific than in my
To to reiterate, my point was that if a local management plan is flawed, a CITES listing may
not result in an improvement of management. However, maybe I did not give CITES
enough credit, since in fact Article IX of the Convention specifies that Parties may designate
any scientific authority they wish, or even several. These should be separate and
independent from the managing government department, so by design a CITES listing may
be able to enforce scientific recommendations where e.g. fishery departments ignore them.
Nevertheless, it seems that lines between scientific management authorities and
management authorities are often blurred, i.e., some countries appoint their fisheries
research department as scientific authorities.
It is therefore possible that a CITES Appendix II listing might indeed force the
implementation of scientific recommendations, but this would depend on the choice of
management authority (they are listed on the web). Of course, this conservation benefit
would be bought at the expense of the industry suffering bureaucratic burdens as a result of
the fishery managers failing to implement scientific recommendations since 1986.
If there is one point I am trying to make, it is that this matter is more complex than it
seems.To be honest, I find it difficult to estimate how efficient a listing may be. Among
factors such as identification etc., you have to consider that borders within the EU are not
enforced anymore, so it is not straightforward to track the items manufactured in Italy and
exported outside the EU from there. However,I guess the argument that an
karim.benmustapha at instm.rnrt.tn
kbmtok at yahoo.com.au
Marine ecologist and biologist
Expert in sponges and seagrass mapping
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