Dear Chantal,


Listing taxa like teatfish would be effective and lead to limited interference with research.  Listing single species is a great way to use CITES.  Isostichopus fuscus is a good example – it is a taxonomically well-known species, so there is little demand for taxonomic identifications and study that tend to be collaborative across borders.  Research is more focused on its biology, which does not tend to lead to cross-border shipping of specimens.


If all holothuroids were listed and someone wished to send a sample for identification to another country, they would first have to get permits from both countries (on top of other local permits needed).  I have obtained CITES permits on various occasions for my coral work, and it is quite a process at both ends.  Recently we sent a sample of some Florida corals to a researcher in Italy, and even with all the paperwork in place the shipment sat in Atlanta for 3 weeks waiting for clearance (not a good thing, as these were for DNA sequencing and needed refrigeration), and once it arrived in Italy it was sent back as the local agents there needed an additional form that no one (including the Italian coral researcher) knew about.


Once a shipment arrives, in most countries it needs to get inspected.  In the US that costs a couple of hundred $ for each shipment as it is done by a customs agent in conjunction with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  So this is what you would have to do for every time you sent specimens for study (identification requests, loans from museums, etc) across borders.  Some food for thought.  So just don’t ask us to send you an Isostichopus fuscus on loan ;-)


Cheers - Gustav


From: flmnh-aspidolist [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chantal Conand
Sent: Saturday, May 5, 2018 11:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Sea Cucumbers - Governance - CITES


Dear colleagues


We had a very good holothurian CITES meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 2004, with results published by NOAA Bruckner et al. with discussions on the pro-and con CITES arguments.

In nearly 20 years the knowledge has been increasing, but the overexploitation also.

After a few recent discussions and taking into account that the teatfish is a group of species sharing the CITES needs: overexploitation, high value of products, products easy to distinguish (not the case for other species..!), we have thought that proposing them in Annex II would be a good start for a better conservation.

At MNHN the french CITES scientists have prepared the project in this direction, project now circulating inside EU.

I think that if many countries join this idea, it could be much better accepted and usefull than listing all holothurians.

I also think that Annex II does not slow down research too much; the example of Isostichopus fuscus on the annex II since long, has not stopped the research.


Best regards

Chantal Conand


2018-05-05 15:08 GMT+02:00 Paulay,Gustav <[log in to unmask]>:

Hi All,


This is pretty scary and will lead to a major slowdown in research on sea cucumbers.  This happened with corals when they went on CITES; talk to any coral taxonomists.  I wonder if the listing could be taxonomically targeted so as not to impact everything?  I am quite appreciative of the resource issues here and am very pro-management, but the collateral damage to science with such a CITES listing will be huge.  I used to work on corals…  Maybe my days as a holothuroid taxonomists are numbered…


Cheers - Gustav


From: flmnh-aspidolist [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Friedman, Kim (FIAF)
Sent: Friday, May 4, 2018 3:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Sea Cucumbers - Governance - CITES



Forum Economic Ministers Meeting – 26 April 2018, Palau

Cameron Diver,  Deputy Director-General of the Pacific Community:


“Statistics and data are also fundamental as means to inform sustainable management of economically important resources. An illustration in coastal fisheries is the Sea cucumber/Beche-de-mer fishery in the region which is traded internationally.  Sea cucumber is the second most valued resource in the region after tuna fisheries and helps drive government revenue together with rural and community economic development. But it is one of the most corrupt fisheries in the region as a result of poor governance systems. For example, in MSG countries, we estimate that benefits could be as high as US$30 – 45 million per annum, when countries are only making an average earning of US$14 million”

“The improvement of the both the amount and regularity of the income that communities can derive from the sea cucumber would be a major win. Given the level of corruption and undue interference in the sea cucumber fishery it is unfortunately very likely that all sea cucumber species will be proposed for listing under Appendix II of the CITES


Full speech:





Kim Friedman

Senior Fishery Resources Officer


F602, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

Marine and Inland Fisheries Branch

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Vialle delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 Rome, Italy

Tel: +39 06 570 56510

Skype: kim.j.friedman

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Chantal Conand