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CITES Approves Strict Trade Limits on Ivory, Timber, Fish

Delegates from 171 nations have wrapped up a conference on endangered species by putting trade restrictions on ivory, several commercial timber species and some fish.

The meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, known as CITES, ended in The Hague Friday. At the 12-day talks, the delegates also approved trade limits on red and pink coral used in jewelry, saying over-harvesting in the Mediterranean and Pacific threatens to wipe it out.

The African members of the CITES reached a compromise on ivory sales, when they allowed a one-time sale to Japan, followed by a nine-year continuation of the current ban on sales. The ban has been in place since 1989.

The U.N. body also asked China to investigate reports that a restaurant near a Chinese bear and tiger farm served tiger meat. The CITES treaty bans trade in products made from endangered tigers.

The 171-CITES member nations regulate the trade in thousands of plants and animals.