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#133700 - 01/11/01 04:58 AM is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
susangg Offline
I posted a message to a belize listserv about a Raiders pendant that my husband had a local Ambergris Caye jeweler make from him (using a plastic one that they sell in the Raiders stores as a model). The jeweler used black coral and some kind of white bone material.
I got slammed by a listmember for unethical conduct for having purchased black coral jewelry and for violating Belizean law by doing so.
This was surprising to me. Black coral jewelry is in all the jewelry and gift shops and even at the airport. I have never heard anything about it being illegal and wonder how it could be illegal and at the same time, so widely displayed for sale. I have bought quite a few pieces of it over the years in Belize and never had a clue that I was breaking the law by doing so....was I? (I thought I was doing good by spending $$ in Belize...oh well...)
Is it an endangered species or something? Should I be boycotting this stuff instead of buying it?
What's the story on black coral jewelry?
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#133701 - 01/11/01 07:31 AM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
Jericco Offline
susan...I really don't know what the "legalites" are in Belize but everywhere I have travelled, black coral is a no-no. It's similar to ivory in Africa. Sorry, can't give you any more info than that.

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#133702 - 01/11/01 09:38 AM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
susangg Offline
Not a good analogy to my mind. You get ivory by killing (or maiming) elephants and cutting off pieces of their bodies.
I can't figure out how it could be illegal to sell something that everybody sells.
A couple of people have told me that its not illegal to sell or purchase the jewelry, but it is illegal to take the raw coral out of the country for processing elsewhere.
I'd love to hear the specifics if somebody knows.
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#133703 - 01/11/01 06:19 PM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
mayatravel Offline
You must have a license to take bk coral from the sea and must have a license to sell it. So ask before you buy because it's the only way we can control what is harvested from the sea. You can take out bk coral jewelry, but not raw bk coral.

Reality? Bad, very bad. Looks much nicer below the surface.

Katie Valk
Maya Travel Services
_________________________
Maya Travel Services

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#133704 - 01/12/01 03:25 AM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
mossback Offline
I agree with Katie. Black coral is a living animal, so you have to kill it, or a part of it to take it, Susan. Black coral is hardly recognizable underwater. It is such a sight. Why not stick to your cheap plastic and leave mother nature alone. Black coral takes (I forget how long), many years to grow a single inch. I won't even point it out to people underwater anymore, and wouldn't show a photo of it for fear that some dumba** would grab some to take home or to a jeweler to make it "pretty". Sorry about my attitude, but I'd rather see people leave these animals, not maim and kill them.

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#133705 - 01/12/01 09:27 PM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
Marty Offline
it's illegal to remove any corals from the barrier reef - for obvious reasons...

Black coral is not illegal to have. However, you need a permit to
harvest it, a permit to manipulate it, and a permit to sell it. Folks sell
coral jewelery in their gift shops with no problem from anyone at all.

Having turtle shell jewelery, however, will land u in jail easily.

black coral is rare and found in the deeper parts fo the reef - 80-200ft.
due to el nino and pollution and overfishing - half the coral reefs are dead in the world..

buy black plastic jewelry - looks the same as black coral but cheaper!

It is illegal to bring black coral into Canada.

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#133706 - 01/14/01 03:12 AM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
susangg Offline
Thanks for all the replies. The consensus seems to be that while purchasing black coral jewelry in Belize is legal, the coral is an endangered species underwater and purchasing it encourages merchants and jewelers to buy more, which means more is taken. So I won't buy any more black coral jewelry.

But although the coral is "alive" in the sense that anything that grows in nature is "alive," sorry but I can't think of it as an "animal" the way I think of elephants and turtles (or for that matter, furry creatures of all kinds...)..just not the same.
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#133707 - 01/14/01 09:24 AM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
Cinca Offline
A change of topic, but while we are talking about illegal products, I was told during my last visit that jade is really illegal in Belize except for people of Mayan heritage.

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#133708 - 01/16/01 12:08 AM Re: is black coral jewelry illegal in Belize?
Fronna3 Offline
if you really like black coral, its legal on the Caymans, especially Grand Cayman....I think the best shop is Richards Jewelers or something..........

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