[Coral-List] question about the expanded listing of coral species

Les Kaufman lesk at bu.edu
Fri Feb 19 22:39:39 EST 2010

Hi coral listing aficionados, pro and con.

I looked at the Center for Biodiversity petition for listing 83 (some  
say 82, I guess counts vary) species of coral under the ESA.  I was  
supportive of the Caribbean Acropora spp. listing but this time I'm a  
bit puzzled.

How were these particular species arrived at?  I might have just  
missed it, but certain species that really are of serious concern  
didn't seem to be there- for example, Agaricia tenuifolia, or a host  
of regional endemics that might have made more logical first-ups for  
such a list.

Also, I am just wondering- what are the intended effects on the  
aquarium hobby and trade?  The intention of adding some legal teeth to  
the fight for 350 ppm I can understand, but to worry about over- 
collection of live corals for the aquarium trade- or more importantly,  
trade of aquacultured corals- in the same breath, while we have this  
immense global problem as first priority, is peculiar.   It's been  
demonstrated in a few places that collecting of corals for the  
aquarium trade can be conducted in a sustainable manner, and having  
more coral reef fans in the world could hardly be a bad thing if they  
were suitably engaged in the larger battle.


Les Kaufman
Professor of Biology
Boston University Marine Program
Senior PI
Marine Management Area Science
Conservation International

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