15 Aug 2011

Poached Solomons coral to be studied in US

3:15 pm on 15 August 2011

A United States university will use coral skeletons, taken illegally from Solomon Islands, for research and education.

Nova Southeastern University's Oceanographic Center recently received hundreds of seized coral skeletons, poached in Solomon Islands, from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Last July, Customs and Border Protection agents seized a shipping container of corals from Solomon Islands in the port of Tampa, worth between 500,000 US dollars and a million.

The Dean of the university's Oceanographic Center, Richard Dodge, says the stony coral skeleton specimens will be useful for research, education and outreach.

A selection will be put on display at the university and elsewhere to provide information on the economical importance, biological and ecological value of corals and coral reefs, and the many threats endangering coral reefs today.