Table 8 The top ten species of corals imported into the United States the EU and Japan

Totals for number of pieces are derived from importers' data in CITES for years 1997 to 2001. Japan's data are based on exporters' reports for 1997 and years 1999-2001, as Japan's Annual Reports for 1999-2001 are not available and they did not report any coral imports for 1997.

Top ten imports USA

Taxon

No. of pieces

Scieractinia spp.

1,838,843

Euphyiiia spp.

304,257

Goniopora spp.

201,847

Acropora spp.

191,475

Trachyphyiiia spp.

180,351

Cataiaphyiiia spp.

159,693

Plerogyra spp.

116,623

Heiiofungia actiniformis

96,515

Lobophyiiia spp.

65,016

Turbinaria spp.

63,508

Top ten imports EU

Taxon

No. of pieces

Scieractinia spp.

153,244

Acropora spp.

47,917

Euphyiiia spp.

40,207

Goniopora spp.

37,356

Trachyphyiiia spp.

26,254

Plerogyra spp.

25,035

Cataiaphyiiia spp.

23,884

Goniopora iobata

19,178

Heiiofungia actiniformis

18,626

Goniopora stokesi

17,353

Top ten imports Japan

Taxon

No. of pieces

Scieractinia spp.

44,232

Trachyphyiiia geoffroyi

28,622

Cataiaphyiiia jardinei

20,657

Euphyiiia giabrescens

17,099

Goniopora minor

16,342

Goniopora stokesi

15,836

Goniopora iobata

15,103

Heiiofungia actiniformis

14,895

Euphyiiia cristata

10,010

Goniopora spp.

9,963

some generally occur at low densities, although information on both densities in the field and growth rates is usually limited.

For the United States, the EU and Japan (the three main importers), according to CITES data the top ten species imported were combinations of species of the above listed genera. (See Table 8.1

Button/meat coral, Cynarina.

In 1997, Indonesia established quotas for coral export. In 1999, the CITES Scientific Review Group of the European Commission (SRG-EC) questioned the scientific basis for the export quotas set by the Indonesian authorities. This resulted in a temporary suspension (still ongoing for many) of the export of the following seven species of stony coral from Indonesia into the 15 EU Member Statesxi: Blastomussa merleti, CatalaphylUa jardinei, Cynarina lacrymalis, Euphyllia divisa, Euphyllia glabrescens, Plerogyra simplex and Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. In 2000, the trade suspension was extended to additional species: the complete genera of Euphyllia and Plerogyra, Hydnophora exesa, Hydnophora microconos and Blastomussa wellsi. Since then positive opinions (temporary import suspension is lifted) have been given for E. ancora, E. glabrescens and H. exesa from Indonesia. In addition negative opinionsvii (temporary trade suspensions) on Goniopora lobata, Plerogyra turbida, Scolymnia vitiensis and Wellsophyllia radiata for Indonesia and Blastomussa wellsi, Scolymnia vitiensis, Catalaphyllia jardinei, Euphyllia yaeyamaensis, Hydnophora rigida, Plerogyra simplex, P. sinuosa and Trachyphyllia geoffroyi for Fiji have been formed69.

The EU import restrictions for stony corals have been put in place mainly due to a lack of information on their population status and life history characteristics. Understanding the biology and life history of stony corals is essential in developing ecologically sustainable quotas, and the need for such research should be highlighted.

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