Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trade curbs sought for sharks, corals, bluefin tuna

By Laura MacInnis

GENEVA (Reuters) - Tuna popular in sushi, colorful corals used in jewelry and sharks whose fins make soup have been proposed for international trade restrictions overseen by the United Nations, a spokesman for the treaty said on Thursday.

Juan-Carlos Vasquez of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) said countries had submitted 40 requests for trade curbs and controls that will be reviewed at a conference in Qatar in March.

African elephants, some plants from Madagascar, the skins of certain snakes and crocodiles, and a range of waxes and oils used in cosmetics were also suggested for the regulation which aims to encourage conservation, Vasquez said.

"We check that the trade is sustainable, is legal and is traceable," he explained. CITES registration gives protection to endangered species carrying high economic or commercial value.

Most of the plants and animals proposed for the 2010 Doha conference would, if approved by CITES' 175 member states, be regulated in a government permit system certifying their trade.

But Monaco proposed that Atlantic bluefin tuna be subjected to a full ban, which could cause big losses for Mediterranean countries who have resisted European Union calls to stop fishing the over-exploited population. …

Trade curbs sought for sharks, corals, bluefin tuna

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