Rare coral sold for fish tanks

Jan 19, 2008

British customs officials say the rising popularity of home reef aquariums is boosting an illegal trade in endangered live coral from around the world.

Hundreds of rare corals protected by international conservation laws have been intercepted at airports en route to aquarium shops in Britain during the last year, The Times of London reported Saturday.

For each coral that reaches an aquarium still alive, dozens more die, said Rachel Jones, a spokeswoman for London Zoo's aquarium.

"People who keep corals are very serious hobbyists and most are entirely above board," she said. "But some don't really care where the corals have come from as long as they look good in their aquarium -- for them it is just about collecting the latest cool animal in the latest cool color."

Live coral is one of the top five animal items customs officials search for at airports and sea ports, the Times reported, noting illegal corals from Indonesia worth more than $100,000 were seized in September from the Manchester airport.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: The clock is ticking: New method reveals exact time of death after 10 days

Related Stories

First invasive lionfish discovered in Brazil

Apr 22, 2015

A single fish caught with a hand spear off the Brazilian coast is making big waves across the entire southwestern Atlantic. In May 2014, a group of recreational divers spotted an adult lionfish—the voracious ...

Recommended for you

Making the biofuels process safer for microbes

43 minutes ago

A team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have created a process for making the work environment less toxic—literally—for the organisms that do the heavy ...

Grunter's life choices chronicled in fisheries study

50 minutes ago

Research into populations of the western striped grunter (Pelates octolineatus) on the lower west coast shows the species has a highly seasonal growth pattern and migrate between coastal and estuarine environments ...

Why GM food is so hard to sell to a wary public

1 hour ago

Whether commanding the attention of rock star Neil Young or apparently being supported by the former head of Greenpeace, genetically modified food is almost always in the news – and often in a negative ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.