21 June
2007

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will not be adding red and pink coral to the list of protected species this year. The June 2007 CITES meeting just concluded and despite a proposal to limit the trde in red, pink and other corals which seemed destined to pass, the proposal was overturned at the last minute.

The is more bad news for corals. Reefs are already under immense pressure and the bulk of coral reefs that were around when I was a teenager are either destroyed, being severly pressured or under imminent threat.

Red does not, in fact, actually grow on typical familar reefs. It grows in deep water, and grows very slowly. Because it is rare, there are all kinds of ridiculous stories about how it can be used for everything from medecine to romance, but most is used for ornamental jewelery. Supposed red coral nacklaces are offered for sale very widely and in many countries. In case you are tempted to buy it, note that most red coral that is offered for sale is fake and overpriced, not passing it up is both environmentally and economically sound.

Incidentally, a bid to add protection for the Black Rino also was not successful (see the Zambezi society for a horrible rhino poaching photo and background on the UK Adopt-a-Scout ranger support program where you can help). Some good news: the Japanese and Icelandic governments did not succeed in another sleazy and disgusting attempt to remove whale protections. Thank goodness.

CITES is the biggest international trade agreement, but not the only one. Intenational transport of CITES restricted species, or products of such species, (e.g ivory) is a federal offense in many countries (such as Canada and the USA). Species that are not on the CITES list (such as red coral) may still have restricted trade regulations applied by specific countries.


By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
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