US: Pacific trade deal could help save species

December 6, 2011 03:01

WASHINGTON - Trade in illegally poached and harvested wildlife and wild plants could be curbed, possibly saving endangered species such as the New Zealand Kakapo parrot, by a proposed Trans-Pacific trade deal, a top US trade official said on Monday.

"Whether it involves forest products manufactured from illegally harvested tropical timber, or body parts from threatened tiger species, or fins brutally torn from sharks at sea, more can be done to fight illegal trafficking in wildlife and wild plant products," Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said in a speech.

The United States is pushing for "ground-breaking" conservation provisions in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and also wants to curtail marine subsidies that encourage overfishing, Marantis said.

Global trade in illegally poached and harvested wildlife and wild plant species is estimated at tens of billions of dollars a year, he said.

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