US to list corals as threatened species

The US’s National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced plans to list 66 coral species as either endangered or threatened. Designating them as such means the taking, harming and killing of colonies is illegal.

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 Endangered Species Act. And while each species is under current CITIES legislation, the extra protection should ensure local protection is easier to enforce.

There are seven species in the Atlantic Ocean and 59 are in the Pacific Ocean.