Tuesday, 16 March 2010

CITES Considers Protection for Marine Species

Red and pink corals, the Atlantic bluefin tuna, the polar bear and several shark species are being considered for increased protection when the 15th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) convenes in Doha, Qatar, from March 13 to 25...writes Oceana.

Sweden (on behalf of the European Union) and the United States have proposed that all species of red and pink corals, or Coralliidae, be listed under Appendix II of the convention. That move would ensure that any future trade in those species would be strictly monitored and controlled.

Pink and red corals are deep-sea precious corals found in the Mediterranean and Pacific. Between 30 and 50 metric tons are fished annually to meet consumer demand for jewelry and decorative items. The United States alone imported 28 million pieces of red and pink coral between 2001 and 2008. Necklaces made from the smoothed and polished skeletons of red or pink coral colonies can fetch up to US$25,000.