CITES Permits

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Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

CITES is the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is a powerful tool for achieving effective and consistent regulation of international trade in wild species to ensure their conservation and sustainable use. Its purpose is to ensure that wild fauna and flora in international trade are not exploited unsustainably.

Coral and Shells

Coral and shells are a group of incredibly diverse animals. Coral reefs are part of a diverse ecosystem, providing habitats for many different species of fish and wildlife. Coral reefs also provide an important wave break for small island countries like the Cook Islands. Coral reefs help provide protection to coastlines from erosion, support recreation, tourism and local food supplies. The calcium carbonate from sand, shells and coral also maintains the pH balance of the ocean, helping to sustain life.

Unfortunately coral and some shells are endangered. Under threat from pollution, sewage, oil spills, harvesting for tourism, and land developments, it is estimated that at least two thirds of the world’s reefs are dying.

Coral and some shells are listed on CITES Appendix II, which means they are threatened by trade – species may become endangered if trade is not controlled and monitored. This protection extends not only to live coral and shells, but also to beach-wash coral and shells and parts of coral and shells.

Please note that international trade in coral and some shell products is only permitted with the correct CITES documentation. Even if you purchase a piece of coral and/or shell from a retailer, you are still required to obtain a CITES permit.

If you do not have a CITES permit and intend on taking coral overseas, you risk having your coral and shell being confiscated at your point of destination.

Below is a collection of species listed as requiring a CITES Permit.


CITES for Specimens

Details listed below:
Common Name
Scientific Name
Appendix Listing
Commonly Encountered








Crispy Crust/Cone Coral           
Family: Meruliniidae
Merulina sp.
Hydnophora sp.                                                         
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered

Starbust Coral
Family Oculinidae
Galaxea sp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered
Horse’s Tooth Coral
Family Mussidae
Lobophyllia sp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered
Honeycomb /Golfball /
Brain / Sunflower Coral
Family Faviidae
Favia sp.
Leptoria sp.
Favites sp.
Goniastrea sp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered
Staghorn Coral
Family Acroporidae
Acropora sp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered
Mushroom Coral
Family Fungiidae
Fungia sp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered
Wart Coral
Family Pocilloporidae
Pocillopora sp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered
Mustard Hil
Family Poritiidae
Porites spp.
Appendix II
Commonly Encountered




































Last Updated on Friday, 04 February 2011 20:21