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Coral

Fiji coral 08.15.2012 buyer beware

Fiji is famous throughout the world for spectacularly rich and vibrant soft coral reefs.

Coral NecklaceOoh how beautiful! While rummaging through the souvenir shop for unusual and fun items you come across some of the most interesting jewelry. Wonderful carved necklaces, earrings and rings that look like nothing you've seen before. They are so colorful and smooth and intricately designed. Who wouldn't love one of these.

Might we suggest that you just walk on by. This jewelry may be beautiful and fairly inexpensive, but its beauty comes, in most cases, from the destruction of the world's threatened coral reefs.

Around the world coral reefs and the marine life that they support are being destroyed for food, aquariums, and decorative items like jewelry. Pollution and over-exploitation threaten these vital ecosystems. So help protect and maintain these areas by not purchasing products, like coral jewelry, that comes from the reefs.

The majority of coral in world trade is fished from tropical coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific and from Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Some of these reefs are protected, and the coral may have been mined illegally therefore making it illegal for you to bring back to the United States.

Read about how you can make a difference as a traveler and consumer in the Caribbean (PDF, 582k)