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

Andrea A. Treece atreece at biologicaldiversity.org
Mon Feb 22 13:01:15 EST 2010

Hi Les,


The petition authors chose the corals based on three criteria:


(1) species occur within US jurisdiction 

(2) IUCN species accounts estimated population reductions of at least 30%
over a 30-year period; they are IUCN-listed as Vulnerable, Endangered, or
Critically Endangered

(3) literature review of threats 


With regard to the aquarium hobby, the petition notes harvest of wild coral
- particularly destructive and unregulated or poorly regulated wild harvest
- as a threat to the species.  There's no criticism of trade in aquacultured
corals or intent to prevent it.  The ESA petition process requires that all
threats to the species be identified.  Obviously, some are greater than





Andrea A. Treece  

Senior Attorney, Oceans Program

Center for Biological Diversity

351 California Street, Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104

ph: 415-436-9682 x306      fax:  415-436-9683


Message: 3

Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:39:39 -0500

From: Les Kaufman <lesk at bu.edu>

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


To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Message-ID: <5D31552B-5B2A-4C58-8ADD-EDE02BF9A578 at bu.edu>

Content-Type: text/plain;     charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed;


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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