DOC's work with protected corals
Diver with black coral
All black (order Antipatharia) and red corals (family Stylasteridae) occurring within New Zealand’s Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone are strictly protected under the Wildlife Act 1953.
It is illegal to deliberately collect or damage these species. All black and red corals accidentally brought to the surface (e.g. on or in fishing gear, or fouled by anchors) must be immediately returned to the sea.
All species in the order Scleractinia (stony or true corals), order Antipatharia and family Stylasteridae are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). These species may not be imported or brought into New Zealand without an export permit from the country of origin. The Department of Conservation is the New Zealand CITES authority.