Monitoring Trade in Corals and Marine Life

For the last 10 years ZSL has been working closely with the UK Border Agency CITES team at Heathrow to monitor the trade in marine organisms coming into the UK. In that time we have received thousands of animals confiscated under the regulations, helped the authorities with identification of shipments and trained Border Agency staff in basic coral taxonomy.

Stony Coral Colony

For the last 10 years ZSL has been working closely with the UK Border Agency CITES team at Heathrow to monitor the trade in marine organisms coming into the UK. In that time we have received thousands of animals confiscated under the regulations, helped the authorities with identification of shipments and trained Border Agency staff in basic coral taxonomy.

For the last 10 years ZSL has been working closely with the UK Border Agency CITES team at Heathrow to monitor the trade in marine organisms coming into the UK. In that time we have received thousands of animals confiscated under the regulations, helped the authorities with identification of shipments and trained Border Agency staff in basic coral taxonomy.

Confiscations are entirely unpredictable in timing and size; we have very little in some years and then in years like 2012 we can receive hundreds of animals in a single shipment. Shipments can also contain reef fish including seahorse species and giant clams which are also regulated under CITES, as well as soft corals, shrimp, starfish, and chunks of reef rock or any combination of the above. The single group we most commonly receive are hard corals (Scleractinia) and as result we have a collection of over 1000 colonies in more than 70 species on exhibit in the aquarium at London Zoo. We have also distributed corals to many other zoos and aquariums as part of managed programmes.

Coral confiscations

Corals (number of animals) received by ZSL from confiscations between 2003-2012

Corals (number of animals) received by ZSL from confiscations between 2003-2012