Red coral is as valuable as it is beautiful. Prices are soaring, and while that’s good news for the legal red coral trade, the illegal trade is also cashing in. Red coral smuggling is booming, and nature is paying the price.
Red coral is a sought-after raw material for southern Italy’s traditional jewellers. For centuries, the spectacular local ‘coral riviera’ has played an important role in the Mediterranean region – for the local economy and also for the ecosystem. But now it’s not only under threat from climate change, poachers and criminal networks are making a fortune from the illegal red coral trade. A report by Jan-Philipp Scholz.
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