asked Her Majesty's Government:
How much coral is imported into the United Kingdom each year; what proportion of the coral they estimate dies in transit; in which regions corals imported into the United Kingdom arrive; and what assessment has been made of the sustainability of those sources.
In 2006, the latest period for which figures are available, some 44,118 pieces of live coral were imported into the UK from outside the European Union. None was recorded as dead. Similarly, 73,907 kilograms of dead coral were imported. Most trade enters via the London airports.
All applications to import hard corals and the one soft coral listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) require the relevant scientific authority to be able to say that,
"the competent scientific authority, after examining available data and considering any opinion from the Scientific Review Group, is of the opinion that the introduction into the Community would not have a harmful effect on the conservation status of the species, or on the extent of the territory occupied by the relevant population of the species, taking account of the current or anticipated level of trade. This opinion shall be valid for subsequent imports as long as the above mentioned aspects have not changed significantly".