Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) reports that, on December 4, 2018, 2-Eleven Buyers Inc. pleaded guilty to violating subsection 6(2) of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, by importing a protected coral species into Canada without a permit.
The Provincial Court of Alberta imposed a fine of $10,000 and ordered 2-Eleven Buyers Inc. to declare all imports of wildlife or plant products to ECCC prior to importation, for a period of two years.
On February 18, 2016, ECCC’s Enforcement Branch was notified by Canada Border Services Agency officials that a shipment from the United States contained coral. ECCC enforcement officers conducted an inspection and found that the shipment contained approximately 115 kilograms of blue coral and stony coral.
While stony coral is found in all of the world’s oceans, blue coral is found only in tropical and sub-tropical waters, particularly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Threats to blue coral include illegal harvest for aquariums, habitat destruction, and ocean acidification.
Both stony and blue coral are regulated species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and, as a result, all imports are subject to strict permitting requirements to ensure that trade does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild.
More than 180 countries, including Canada, have signed the Convention. These countries work together to protect thousands of the world’s most threatened species in trade. The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act is the law that implements CITES in Canada.
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