[Coral-List] Mediterranean Red Coral

Kerim Ben Mustapha karim.benmustrapha at instm.rnrt.tn
Tue Jan 26 03:25:12 EST 2010

Dear all
Thank you for keeping this issue on the agenda.

As many of you pointed out, there is a lack of local management, and this 
"mis managment" could not be met only by national countries..We already 
know the result of such "initiatives" for the last decades; it's a regional 
issue, and neither FAO or GFCM are able to manage the issue.
We certainly lack reliable statistical figures re. red coralll populatioon 
collapse, for that reasons some experts (even the fao panel of experts) do 
not agree on its listing in annexe 2 of the CITES, but what kind of 
improvment in national management of such fisheries can be done? Why it 
was not done before? do we really can rely on such improvment? why we 
do not succeed till today? How do you think a management model could be 
set up when its related to such living resources (exploitation de gisement)? 
So If the statitical figures are lacking and the scientific knowledge did not 
provide sufficient argumentation on the needed management  procedure 
why we do not apply the precautionnary approach? Since the meeting in 
Torre del Greco in the late 80's we were spooking about a better 
management for Corallium rubrum population in the mediterranean; we are 
in 2010, and I do not see such improvment neither a clear national will.
>From a regional point of view even when the regional and international 
fishing structure's decisison are binding the states do not fullfill their 
obligation (see the BFTuna/ICCAT issue, or the BFT/  and the UN (UN 
agreement on straddling and highly migratory stocks , or the whaling issue 
etc....)  so what about non binding decisions?

The situation is what it is, and the prices are raising up each year....Im 
confident in a CITES listing (annexe2) , after all, it's a matter of improved 
control system by the scientific body as well as the management body of 
the involved countries; such listing will increase their control and will be a 
strong signal for the natioanl scientific and management bodies to act. We 
from the southern med did not lack resources, it's only a matter of will.
By the way, we are going to start a mapping program of the coralligenous 
habitat (including C.rubrum gisement) this summer, with our new hightech 
SSS "C3D benthos" in the northern tunisian coasts. I think that it's really 
important to knew the geographical distribution, the density of the red coral 
population (may be the available bio mass... but did our knowledge will be 
sufficient to calculate such data knowing that differentiated 
biologica/ecological  strategies ocurs in deep and cosatal population, as 
well as in exploited and non exploited ones) and one objectif of this 
programm is to study the ecological pathway of the colonies in their 
Kerim Ben Mustapha

On 25 Jan 2010 at 17:15, Georgios Tsounis wrote:

Dear all, 
thanks for raising this question. Excellent replies have already been posted, 
and I especially agree with Prof. Santangelo who indicated that the ultimate 
question we should be asking is: what is necessary to effectively manage 
Corallium rubrum? 
As FAO consultation reports and recent literature demonstrate, current 
management of almost all Mediterranean coral fisheries cannot be 
described as adequate. In 2009 there were two more Corallium workshops 
that accumulated a wealth of recent information, and a FAO panel as well 
as an IUCN/TRAFFIC expert group provided recommendations to the 
CITES conference of Parties (see links below). 
For those of you who are interested in recent information that was gathered 
at these events, please have a look at the respective documents:
When discussing whether Corallidae meet the criteria, we should keep in 
mind that FAO and IUCN/TRAFFIC provide advice to CITES CoP, and 
both came to the conclusion that the present data do not meet the criteria 
(see the links provided), -and the panels have been well aware of the 
information cited in the mentioned MEPS paper.
As Kristian pointed out, local management is the basis for effective 
conservation, but CITES can complement it. Therefo 
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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