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Black Coral is a protected species and cannot be sold

Why Black Coral cannot be sold on Trade Me

By Trade Me 5 February 2021

We’ve noticed a few people listing ‘black coral’ lately and we’ve had to remove it from the site as that’s a big ‘no no’ as far as the Ministry for Primary Industries is concerned.

The Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations 2001 make it clear that “no person may sell, possess for sale, or process for sale black coral.”

You might well ask why black coral cannot be sold and it turns out this kind of coral is a protected species.

Many types of coral secrete calcium carbonate external skeletons, which is the ‘hard, sharp’ stuff that people like to collect.

The collection of coral from New Zealand reefs affects viability of the coral population, hence the legislation to protect it.

Trade Me works with the Ministry for Primary Industries to identify listings which breach these regulations and remove them from the site.

It doesn’t even matter if the coral is in the form of a bracelet that was made in the 1970’s. The regulations are clear –  no once may ‘possess’ black coral, so it cannot be sold on Trade Me.

If you do notice that someone has listed black coral on the site, let us know via the Community Watch function and we’ll check it out. 


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