Windsor resident convicted for unlawfully importing coral

    WINDSOR, ON, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Christopher Donald Dunn of Windsor,
Ontario was convicted today in the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial
Division, for unlawfully importing live coral into Canada from the U.S without
a permit. Mr. Dunn was fined $615 and ordered to forfeit all Stony Corals
seized from him at the Windsor border crossing.
    Mr. Dunn was charged by federal wildlife officers with offences under
Canada's endangered species legislation, the Wild Animal and Plant Protection
and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).
This followed his attempt to enter Canada via the Ambassador Bridge with
38 live coral in his vehicle. These specimens had an estimated value of
    Thirty-two of the 38 coral were Stony Corals, listed as an endangered
species under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They are also protected
under WAPPRIITA and its regulations. The defendant violated several U.S. laws
and failed to obtain the required permits prior to re-entering Canada with the
38 coral.
    Coral reefs support a lucrative tourism industry, protect coastal areas
from storms and contribute to the economies of many developing nations around
the world. Each year, reefs provide humans with resources and services worth
billions of dollars. The global market for reef resources include the
aquarium, curio, and jewellery trades; the seafood and live fish industry; and
pharmaceutical and research companies.
    The illegal international trade in corals contributes to the decline and
degradation of reefs. Human activities have put some 58 per cent of the
world's coral reefs at risk. Many have been damaged beyond recovery.

    Environment Canada is the lead agency responsible for implementing CITES
on behalf of the Government of Canada. CITES sets controls, through a permit
system, on the international trade and movement of animal and plant species
that are endangered, or have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive
commercial exploitation.

    (Egalement offert en français)

For further information:

For further information: Gary Colgan, Director, Wildlife Enforcement
Division, Environment Canada, (905) 319-6960; Jack Saunders, Communications
Advisor/Media Relations, Environment Canada - Ontario, (416) 739-4785

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