NMFS proposes Banggai cardinalfish for Endangered Species Act protection
Visit Ret Talbot's Good Catch Blog to learn more about the new ESA proposal that may affect our hobby. Ret also has written an on this late-breaking news.
While today's NMFS proposal is a major step towards ESA Threatened listing, no final determination has yet been made. The next step is a 60 day public hearing period. To better understand the ESA listing process, we recommend reading the following documents:
- Banggai Cardinal Moves Closer to Endangered Species Listing by Ret Talbot (Reef2Rainforest)
Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered by the USFWS
Of the six species, two (including the Banggai Cardinalfish) are proposed for Threatened listing while four are proposed for Endangered listing. A Threatened listing will likely have no immediate impact on the marine ornamental trade, although the listing does afford the NMFS authority to create special rules for the species should it decide it is necessary. An Endangered listing would radically change the trade of this species; presently, this categorization is unwarranted.
The NMFS' decision comes as no surprise. In 2007, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed the Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) as an endangered species under criterion B. Banggai Cardinalfish have limited natural distribution and are popularly fished for the marine ornamental trade. The NMFS notes that captive breeding both on hobbyist-level and commercial levels may sufficiently meet market demand.