Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


62. Listing a species in a CITES Appendix will have implications for aquaculture and culture-based fisheries using that species. CITES requirements are designed to ensure that trade can continue in these species provided that certain conditions are met.

63. FAO defines aquaculture as “The farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants with some sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated”[5]. Culture-based fisheries are defined as activities aimed at supplementing or sustaining the recruitment of one or more aquatic species and raising the total production or the population of selected elements of a fishery beyond a level which is sustainable through natural processes[6].

64. There are no definitions for aquaculture and culture-based fisheries in CITES at this time. Given the broad range of types of production systems that are included in the FAO definition of aquaculture, individuals produced in aquaculture could be considered as wild collected, captive born, bred-in-captivity or ranched within CITES.

65. CITES has adopted a precise definition of the term “bred-in-captivity” (in Resolution Conf. 10.16 [Rev.]), which applies to offspring produced in a controlled environment of parents that mated in a controlled environment and requires the capability of the captive breeding stock to reliably produce second-generation offspring in a controlled environment. Some aquaculture operations may satisfy this definition, but some others would not. However, it is important to recognize that aquaculture and culture-based fisheries do not need to meet the CITES definition in order for commercial trade in specimens of Appendix-II species to occur. This would not preclude satisfying the usual requirements for trade in an Appendix-II species.

66. For trade in specimens of Appendix-II listed species, whether an aquaculture operation meets the definition for bred-in-captivity or not will determine whether export (for commercial or non-commercial trade) occurs with an export permit or a bred-in-captivity certificate. Source codes would identify on the CITES permit or certificate the origin of the specimens. In all cases the basic requirements are designed to ensure that trade is in specimens that are legally obtained and their trade is not detrimental to the survival of the species.

67. Trade for commercial purposes in specimens of an Appendix-I listed species produced in aquaculture could only occur if the definition of bred-in-captivity is met and the operation is registered with the CITES Secretariat as an operation breeding Appendix-I species for commercial purpose. In relation to aquatic species, currently there is one fish (Asian arowana Scleropages formosus) and numerous species of crocodilians for which such facilities are registered with the CITES Secretariat. Registration of a captive breeding facility producing specimens of a species that has not previously been registered occurs when no Party objects to an application for registration. If a Party objects, the approval of the registration is considered by the Conference of the Parties. Trade in specimens of Appendix-I listed species for non-commercial purposes could still occur, with an import and an export permit.

68. The term “ranching” is usually defined in fisheries as stocking, usually of juvenile finfish, crustaceans or molluscs from culture facilities, for growth to market size or to maturity in the natural environment.[7] The term “ranching” in CITES is defined in Resolution Conf. 11.16 as the rearing in a controlled environment of specimens taken from the wild. Currently this term is used only in the context of Appendix-I species transferred to Appendix II for ranching purposes. Certain strict controls apply to ranching operations under CITES including inventory systems, adequate identification of ranched specimens through a universal marking system, evidence that the ranching operation will be beneficial to the conservation of the wild population and that related harvests will be adequately controlled and monitored. Some Parties have begun to recognize other captive rearing or population/habitat enhancement activities as forms of ranching. The present definition of ranching within CITES will be discussed at CoP13.


Previous Page Top of Page Next Page