Marine Environment

House of Lords written question – answered on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Spokesperson in the Lords, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the value of ecosystem services of marine wildlife such as corals and tropical fish; and whether this value is being eroded by the trade in wild-caught specimens.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming and Food), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming and Food), The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

No assessment has been made of the value of ecosystem services or whether it is being eroded by the trade in wild-caught specimens. The Government commissioned a study, Marine Biodiversity: An Economic Valuation, as part of the evidence-base building process for the Marine Bill. It provides examples of marine biodiversity value, but such values are not identified or attributed specifically to trade in wild-caught specimens.

The effects of trade on specific corals and tropical fish are due to be discussed at the forthcoming 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in the Hague between 3 and 15 June. Those discussions will focus on data concerning trade volumes and the specific threats they pose for the conservation of the species concerned in the wild. The proposals, however, include information and references to studies, where they have occurred, into the species' role within its ecosystem, and the threats they face, including but not limited to trade. CoP14, proposal 19 concerns the Banggai cardinalfish, while proposal 21 concerns 26 species of corrallium.

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