CORAL POSITION STATEMENT

Jewelers of America recognizes that corals are living organisms, important to marine ecosystems and coastal communities that surround them. We note that at least 75 percent of the world’s coral is threatened by climate change, overharvesting and habitat destruction, according to the most recent scientific research.
The Jewelers of America Code of Professional Practices encourages our members to protect the environment within their spheres of influence, and to promote greater environmental responsibility throughout the entire jewelry supply chain. The association supports the creation of clear national and international guidelines and standards for reducing the ecological impacts of trade in precious corals.

Currently, deep-sea precious corals have no international trade protection, while practically no meaningful monitoring of that trade exists. Domestically, the Coral Reef Conservation Act reauthorization, which was considered during the 111th Congress, would provide an opportunity to support coral reef research and management, and would allow for trade pressures, coral destruction and climate change to be taken into account.

While an informal survey found that -- like the fine jewelry industry at large -- few Jewelers of America members currently sell coral jewelry, we are raising consciousness about the risks that living corals face, and we encourage our members to inform their suppliers about the need for coral conservation.

Individual members, such as Tiffany & Co., already have taken a more active role. For example, Chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski testified in 2009 before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans about the importance of coral conservation.

Jewelers of America is working with representatives of SeaWeb's Too Precious to Wear campaign on the coral conservation issue. We admire the collaborative approach that SeaWeb has taken with the industry and applaud the positive ways it is educating retailers, designers and the public.

We will continue educating the trade about the risks that corals face. As responsible jewelers, we support coral conservation.

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