Questions for UK Reefers


New member
I just returned from visiting family in England. While there I stopped in and checked out an aquarium shop. While speaking with the shopkeeper he said that it is illegal to import ANY coral or live rock into the UK and that the only way to get it there is to purchase it from someone who already has it or is propagating it (It is not illegal to sell it yet, just importation is illegal). He said that about two weeks ago British Customs confiscated some coral that someone was trying to import and it is now at a local zoo on display.

When flying out of the Manchester airport I noticed a display set up that had animals that were endangered and illegal to import to the UK (dead or alive). In the case were monkeys feet, mongoose and cobras, and some coral skeletons.

So, UK Reefers, how do you deal with this? Do you rely on propagating coral yourselves and swapping it with friends and shops?
Long time to wait for an answer to this post?

The UK has strict import policies due to the fact that we are an island with low disease incidence. Apart from BSE and foot and mouth a few years ago we are relatively disease free. We have even escaped bird flu! Customs want to keep it that way. The devestation caused by the American Grey squirrel to our native red is an example of how foreign species can take over in such a small island - the red squirrel is now endangered in the UK.

The only way to achieve this is a blanket ban on all livestock imports and strict quarantine legislation (6 months for all pets coming into the country). We have great difficulty getting corals at a reasonable price due to the distance shipped (regulated importers with quarantine facilities), survival rates and exchange rates. An average sized leather coral could set you back £25 (approx $50)! There are quite a few local clubs propagating corals over here which helps but although the prices are lower you only get smallish frags so inch for inch its more expensive this way.