It Doesn't Matter If I Kill Another Species…

if I look pretty. Whenever I travel, inevitably I come across a shop or two selling red coral jewelry. I know what the red coral means…pillaging of the oceans. My first thought however is who wheres this tacky stuff. Are there people who think this stuff is beautiful. Luckily, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species put the coral on a list of protected wildlife, meaning exporters will now have to prove that the coral was harvested without threatening the species’ survival before they can sell it. Corralium is a slow growing deep-water species.


Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

2 Replies to “It Doesn't Matter If I Kill Another Species…”

  1. But what if it’s an antique?

    What depressed me was tourist towns along the Java coast, where shop after shop had mounted sea turtle hanging on the wall for a small price. Nevermind that nobody could legally export it.

  2. I do jewelery work ( hey, a marine biologist and jeweler in training!) and I don’t think I’ve ever used coral in my work.

    Not for conservation reasons, so much as it never appealed. So much of the gem/stone trade is highly unethical, but I think most of my materials are safe, but no coral in my supplies. No bone, a very small amount of shell.

    I admittedly don’t know much about coral harvesting, so once I have some time this evening, you’ve given me food for an evening of reading up.

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