The Humphead (Napoleon) wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, was listed on Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in October of 2004. It was listed because it was considered to be actually or potentially threatened by prevailing exploitation levels or disturbances if these persist without any controls. The species is conservation dependent and management is particularly important given that most of the trade focuses on the juvenile and sub-adult sizes ranges (mainly 25-45 cm TL) of the species because these are convenient in the live fish restaurant trade which represents the major pressure from international trade on the species. Few adults are encountered in the wild where this species is exploited heavily.
The species was originally proposed for Appendix II at CoP 12 (Conference of the Parties; Parties are CITES signatories) in 2002. The proposal was adopted by consensus at CoP13 (2004). The CoP13 proposal can be accessed. The FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) ad hoc Advisory Panel on commercially exploited aquatic species being proposed for Appendices I and II at CoP13, assessed the proposal prior to CoP13 and agreed that it was consistent with Appendix II listing criteria. A recent review evaluates trade in threatened marine species listed on CITES appendices.
October 2004: CoP13 - following the Appendix II listing in October 2004, several initiatives were developed to raise awareness about the CITES listing and also to collect additional information on trade and natural densities relevant to the development of Non-Detriment Findings (i.e. a sustainable management plan) for the species in Indonesia, the major global exporting country for this species. For the *NDF report and stock assessment (NDF Survey Method), which were done in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, see ‘Stock Assessment Approach…..’ 2007. The accompanying interactive model allows each country to tailor-fit local conditions and establish a sustainable export quota.
*NDF are non-detriment findings under CITES; countries are only permitted to export CITES II-listed species if they have an NDF and regulate international trade.