Notification to the Parties
No. 978 Geneva, 2 June 1997
Export of Skins of Caiman crocodilus
1. Since 1993, Colombia has restricted the trade in Caiman crocodilus fuscus and Caiman crocodilus crocodilus to skins of a maximum of 1.20 cm in length. See Notification to the Parties No. 742 dated 7 May 1993
2. In 1994, the assessment, by the CITES Secretariat mission, of the captive-breeding system in Colombia was very positive. It suggested a series of recommendations that are being implemented by the Management Authority of Colombia, notably:
- the adoption of a uniform system of marking for skins as well as for manufactured products, administered by the Management Authority of Colombia;
- improvement of the knowledge of the status, distribution, taxonomy and conservation of the crocodilians occurring in Colombia, to allow establishment of more effective management measures for the wild populations of Caiman crocodilus.
3. The conditions of the market for skins as well as that for meat and other products, have led the producers of these two sub-species to decide to let the animals grow to sizes bigger than 1.20 cm, to obtain a better profit.
4. Several of the operations dedicated to the captive-breeding of these sub-species have some specimens that currently exceed this size.
5. Taking into account that this issue was discussed during the CITES Secretariat mission to Colombia in December 1996, the Colombian Management Authority has decided to withdraw, from 1 March 1997, the trade restriction that it had established on maximum size of specimens that may be exported. From this date, it will allow international trade in skins of animals of the sub-species Caiman crocodilus fuscus and Caiman crocodilus crocodilus produced in the captive-breeding programme that are longer than 1.20 cm.
6. The Management Authority of Colombia has pointed out that the current stock of skins that are longer than 1.20 cm is approximately 1,500 skins of Caiman crocodilus crocodilus and 58,500 of Caiman crocodilus fuscus. When these have been sold, the Management Authority of Colombia will evaluate the effects of the above decision to determine whether or not it should be maintained.
7. The CITES Management Authority of Colombia has requested the Secretariat to inform the Parties of this decision.
8. The present Notification cancels and replaces Notification to the Parties No. 742 of 7 May 1993.
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