yellowtang_apothekeNeither protected nor spared

No coral fish, no coral invertebrate (with the exception of tridacna, stony corals and black coral) is protected.* There is no trade surveillance so all data come from traders and sellers. Only one fifth was ready to disclose their trading figures.



Species protection

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna CITES
is an international convention to protect endangered animal and plant species from international trade. Only stony corals, black corals and tridacna muscles are protected by the convention.

They are listed in Appendix II; controlled trade is only allowed with proper import and export papers. Member states participating in CITES are obliged to keep trade statistics on yearly trade volumes.

The Convention on Biodiversity CBD is one of the most important international UN conventions on the environment.

At the 2010 autumn Biodiversity summit, nearly all countries in the world (191) agreed on a plan to safeguard biodiversity. They also came up with 20 targets to achieve by 2020.

Target 10 says:
By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.

The consequences for Switzerland:
With the production of greenhouse gas, Switzerland shares direct and indirect responsibility for climate change – therefore it has to find means to reduce these consequences within its own borders as well as in other countries. The import of endangered coral fish and other species from environments under threat has to be banned or reduced to minimum levels.

Mac_certifiedThe Marine Aquarium Council MAC wanted to guarantee sustainable trade with marine species:

The label, created in 1998, wanted to persuade all important stakeholders to adhere to ecological standards on a voluntary basis. The label ceased to exist in 2009.

According to their website, there were no certified traders in Switzerland and only one in Germany.





* The Napoleon fish, a 2.3 m long wrasse living in the reef, is listed in the CITES Appendix II. It is listed mainly because it is considered a delicacy in countries like China and is thus heavily overfished. Its puffy lips are a favourite dish in restaurants.