Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

International law failing to protect coral reefs and tropical fish, experts argue

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
Washington State University
Summary:
International law has failed to protect coral reefs and tropical fish from being decimated by a growing collectors market, but US reforms can lead the way towards making the trade more responsible, ecologically sustainable and humane, according to a group of 18 experts.

Washington State University marine ecologist Brian Tissot, seen here surveying a coral reef, is lead author of a paper in Marine Policy asserting that US reforms can make the trade in corals and their fish more responsible, ecologically sustainable and humane
Credit: John Coney

International law has failed to protect coral reefs and tropical fish from being decimated by a growing collectors market, but U.S. reforms can lead the way towards making the trade more responsible, ecologically sustainable and humane.

That's the view of 18 experts, including Washington State University marine ecologist Brian Tissot, writing in the journal Marine Policy.

"Our actions have a big impact on what happens in these coral reef ecosystems, which are already hit hard by other forces like global warming, ocean acidification and overfishing," said Tissot, lead author and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at WSU Vancouver.

Using data from the United Nation's conservation monitoring program, the authors say trade in coral and coral reef species is substantial and growing, removing 30 million fish and 1.5 million live stony corals a year. The aquarium industry alone targets some 1,500 species of reef fishes. Many die in transit, leading collectors to gather even more animals to compensate for their losses.

The result is some species have gone "virtually extinct," said Tissot. The Banggai cardinalfish, which is unique to a remote Indonesian archipelago, has had its numbers reduced and even eliminated through much of its range after it became a popular aquarium fish in the late 1990s.

The Marine Policy paper grows out of a meeting of more than 40 scientists, NGOs and policy experts during the 2009 International Marine Conservation Congress. Their concerns grew even more pressing after the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, did not take action on key groups of corals this March. Authors include experts from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Humane Society International, the Pew Environment Group and the Environmental Defense Fund.

With U.S. buyers accounting for more than half the trade in live coral, reef fish and invertebrates, the authors recommend leveraging U.S. market power to reduce the trade's environmental effects. They suggest laws to protect a wider variety of species, better enforcement that includes tracking a product's chain of custody, and reforms in source countries. They also recommend changes in marketing to promote sales of species certified as being humane and sustainable.

"The U.S.," say the authors, "should assume its role as an international leader in coral reef conservation and take steps to reform the international trade it drives."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington State University. "International law failing to protect coral reefs and tropical fish, experts argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628092746.htm>.
Washington State University. (2010, July 21). International law failing to protect coral reefs and tropical fish, experts argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628092746.htm
Washington State University. "International law failing to protect coral reefs and tropical fish, experts argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628092746.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins