CITES Appendix II Listing on Red Coral
Of all the deep-sea species, red coral represents the largest and most valuable market, with an estimated 30-50 metric tons per year. Seven red coral species are traded worldwide as jewelry and other decorative products. Yet no trade mechanisms are in place to monitor and control this environmentally harmful trade.
The Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) provides a powerful tool for improving environmental management without discouraging ecologically-sound trade. An Appendix II listing under the CITES regulatory framework gives both producer and consumer countries the responsibility to ensure that the coral trade is sustainable. It is important to continue to urge the CITES member countries to take coral conservation seriously and pass an Appendix II listing of red coral at the next Conference of Parties in Qatar in 2010.