News of the WeekConservation Biology

Trade Trumps Science for Marine Species at International Meeting

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Science  02 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5974, pp. 26-27
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5974.26-a

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It was all about the money, not the science. So say environmentalists and conservation biologists reeling from a remarkable number of setbacks for wildlife conservation at a major international meeting that wrapped up last week in Doha, Qatar. There were a few victories for land animals—most notably, elephants (see sidebar)—but not so for marine species, which were the focus of most high-stakes proposals at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The reason: Despite evidence for serious population declines, countries that profit from international trade in these species lobbied hard to keep it unfettered.