In December, NOAA Fisheries announced that it was proposing Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings for 66 coral species, including 59 in the Pacific and seven in the Caribbean.
The proposed listing is in response to a 2009 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list 83 coral species as threatened or endangered under the ESA.
In 2011, NOAA and the CBD entered into a stipulated settlement agreement requiring NOAA to submit for publication a proposal as to 82 of the 83 coral species by April 15, 2012. In March, the settlement agreement was amended, moving the proposal deadline to on or before December 1, 2012.
All of the coral species being proposed for listing are already protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Earlier this year, the President directed that any potential future designations of critical habitat carefully consider all public comments on relevant science and economic impact, including those that suggest methods for minimizing regulatory burdens.
According to NOAA Fisheries, any potential future critical habitat designation in connection with the proposed listing will include a full analysis of economic impact, including impact on jobs, and to the extent permitted by law, adopt the least burdensome means, including avoidance of unnecessary burdens and costs on states, tribes, localities, and the private sector of promoting compliance with the ESA
For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2012/11/82corals.html
source: NOAA Fisheries Service