By John Dawes
On April 7, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) released its latest National Export Quotas for 2011, accessible online. Click on “Export quotas” under the “Resources” in the options provided). All appendix-listed animals and plants are included in the list, so you’ll need to sift through to find species that are relevant to the ornamental aquatic industry. Although the quotas were first published in March, they were updated April 7 with regard to species from Colombia, Indonesia, Niger, Suriname and Vietnam. Those from Colombia, Niger and Suriname, however, are not of any direct relevance to the ornamental aquatic industry.
The Vietnamese quotas, though, include some giant clams found within the industry, such as Tridacna crocea and T. squamosa, plus live specimens of three seahorses: Hippocampus comes (12,000 pieces), H. kelloggi (7,000) and H. kuda (77,000). No seahorse quotas were issued for Vietnam in 2010.
The 2011 quotas released by CITES for hard corals from Fiji and Indonesia show some changes when compared to 2010.
This year, the quota for elegant corals (Catalaphyllia jardinei) from Indonesia is down from 25,000 in 2010 to 22,500 pieces.
The live rock export quotas both for Fiji and Indonesia remain unchanged when copared to 2010.
Of greater relevance are the coral quotas for Indonesia, three species of which are worthy of special note: Catalaphyllia jardinei, Cynarina lacrymalis and Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. There are rumors going around that these species were removed from the list and, as a result, are no longer subject to export controls. This is most certainly not the case; all three remain on the list. In fact, in the case of C. jardinei, the quota has been cut from 25,000 pieces in 2010 to 22,500 in 2011. The quota for C. lacrymalis remains unchanged at 7,250 pieces, but the quota for T. geoffroyi was reduced from 50,000 to 47,500 pieces.
Indonesia also is allowed to export 450 tons of live rock (unchanged from 2010) and 900,000 pieces of substrate—i.e., pieces of coral rock with attached invertebrates (of species not included in the CITES Appendices) and that are transported in water like live rock. This figure is the same as for 2010.
The Fijian list includes several species of Tridacna clams, hard corals, hydrozoans—e.g. fire corals—and live rock (805.6 tons permitted for export, the same amount as in 2010).
Besides the previously-mentioned three seahorse species, only two other fish species are mentioned, neither of which is of any major consequence within the aquatics industry: the European eel (Anguilla anguilla), which is receiving widespread protection, and the humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), with no specimens allowed to be exported from Sabah (Malaysia) and 3,600 specimens from Indonesia (5,400 in 2010).
Acknowledgement: I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Alex Ploeg, secretary general of Ornamental Fish International (OFI), for alerting me to the ”rumors” mentioned in this write-up. <HOME>
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