This is the latest in a series of posts from CITES. See the rest of the dispatches here.
Over the weekend, CITES failed to include 31 species of red and pink coral in Appendix II, trade protections that were promised during the last CITES Conference more than two and a half years ago.
These corals are harvested to meet the growing demand for jewelry and souvenirs. The unregulated and virtually unmanaged collection and trade of these species is driving them to extinction.
Many of the corals are long-lived, reaching more than 100 years of age, and grow slowly, usually less than one millimeter in thickness per year. These colonies are fragile and extremely vulnerable to exploitation and destruction, and their biological characteristics severely limit their ability to recover.
Oceana campaign director Dave Allison had this to say about the corals decision (first video), as well as the failure of CITES to protect marine species in general (second video.)