PROTECTED SPECIES AND THE BSCC

By Tom Walker and John Whicher

Members will be aware from ‘Secretary’s Notes’ in the last two issues of Pallidula that there is now stringent legislation in force concerning the collecting and possession of certain species of molluscs. The regulations may well affect those who collect European shells, whether marine, land or freshwater. These notes are offered as guidance. None of the regulations preclude the need for responsible collecting, and notes about this are included on this web site under Good practice.

The regulations are complex and a minefield for anyone who tries to understand them in detail. There are regular amendments which may add to or cancel earlier requirements, and one set of regulations is often at variance with another. What follows gives a synopsis of how each piece of legislation affects both the BSCC as a whole and individual collectors.

It must be remembered that many countries have their own legislation concerning the collection and export of shells, which may be very strict, with punishments including fines and imprisonment. It is not possible to list all local regulations. Travellers are recommended to contact embassies, local shell clubs, etc. for information prior to travelling. Most countries (e.g. Kenya) now have web pages explaining their policies.

CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

As the name implies, this document is concerned purely with international trade. It does not apply to collection or possession of shells. There are several shells in Appendix I (all Achatinella spp. and many freshwater Unionidae) which are subject to very strict legislation, but these are unlikely to be of interest to most Club members (see the reference given below for the full CITES lists).

Appendix II lists species where regulations are not so strict and trade is monitored by a licencing system. Shells of likely relevance to Club members are:

Papustyla pulcherrima
Haliotis midas (export from South Africa only)
Strombus gigas
Lithophaga lithophaga (but see below for further restrictions on this shell)
ALL Tridacnidae

The shells specified below may be collected and carried across borders as part of “personal or household effects” (see reference below). These must have been acquired legally (i.e. not from a marine reserve or against local laws) and may have been self collected or purchased) It is suggested that if you intend to collect and import any of these species then you should access these files and carry a copy with you when travelling.

Strombus gigas up to three specimens;
Tridacnidae up to three specimens, each of which may be one intact shell or two matching halves, not exceeding 3kg per person.

As far at the Club itself is concerned, the Committee agreed at its meeting on 17 January 2009 that there would be no restrictions on the display and trade in CITES Appendix II shells at our shows and meetings.

References
Full text of CITES
Full list of species on Appendices I, II and III
Text of resolution concerning personal and household effects

EUROPEAN PROTECTED SPECIES (EPS)

This legislation was enacted by the UK Parliament on 3 July 2007. It is now “an offence to have in one’s possession or control, transport, sell or exchange any live or dead animal listed on Annex IV(a) of the EC Habitats Directive.” It applies to any molluscs on the list which have been “taken from the wild” within Europe after 10 June 1994 (the date the UK joined the EU), or later for those species added at a subsequent time; captive bred specimens are excluded and are legal to possess. The legislation also does not apply to specimens obtained outside the EU countries.

It is now illegal to possess any of these shells without a licence, and it is not easy for individuals to obtain a licence for shells already in their possession! It is easier for accredited academic institutions and museums to obtain a licence. Licenses are only applicable in the individual countries where they are granted (and that would mean four licenses for the different countries comprising United Kingdom!)

There are currently 33 extant molluscs on the EPS Annex IV(a); other Annexes are concerned with habitats rather than individual species. Many of these are obscure land shells from Madeira; there are only four marine species included but also a few freshwater molluscs and one slug. The attached list shows all the named species. Those which are probably most relevant to Club members are:

Gibbula nivosa
Anisus vorticulus (added to the EPS in 2004, so legal if collected before then)
Lithophaga lithophaga
Pinna nobilis

WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT

The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) is purely British legislation (in Northern Ireland this is the Wildlife Order 1985) and applies only to species found in Britain; schedule 5 prohibits animals (live or dead) from being taken, possessed, sold or offered for sale.

The shells on the list are mainly non-marine, and include only one marine shell. The dates given are when they were added to the relevant list and therefore the date after which they become ‘illegal’.

Caecum armoricum (1992)
Myxas glutinosa (1981)
Quickella arenaria (1981)
Helix pomatia (2008)
Atrina fragilis (1998)
Margaritifera margaritifera (1998)
Thyasira gouldi (1992, but likely to be removed from this list at the next review of the Act)

The committee has decided that Club policy should be that none of the species on the EPS or Wildlife and Countryside Act lists may be offered for sale, either by dealers or by auction, at any BSCC function, nor displayed in any exhibit. This will apply regardless of when or where the shells were collected, as having different rules for species collected outside Europe or prior to legislation would make control almost impossible.

HABITATS AND SPECIES DIRECTIVE

This is European legislation which is mainly concerned with habitats. However, species on Annex 4 may not be killed or disturbed or their habitat destroyed. There are no restrictions on possession or sale of species on this list. The only shell not included above is Margaritifera auricularia, which will therefore will be permitted at BSCC events.

======================

The relevant legislation of these Acts/Directives is complex and is not for reading by ordinary mortals! The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) provides links to many of the appropriate documents and gives summaries of some of the pertinent passages. There is also a comprehensive list of all the species involved (not only molluscs).

JNCC website
The links are complex to work your way around, but much of what is relevant to this topic can be found by following:
Home > Species

EPS: text of regulations implemented in 2007

EPS: Annex IV guidance with full list of species

Wildlife and Countryside Act

Habitats and Species Directive

List of all species on conservation lists (does not include EPS species)
zipped file
unzipped file (15.7mb):

Our thanks to Martin Willing for help and advice in the preparation of this article.

EUROPEAN AND BRITISH PROTECTED SPECIES OF MOLLUSCS

These molluscs may not be offered for sale at BSCC events, either by dealers or by auction, nor displayed in any exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molluscs shown   in RED occur in the British Isles

 

European Protected Species

Annex IV(a)

Wildlife & Countryside Act Schedule 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molluscs shown     in RED occur in    the British Isles

 

European Protected Species

Annex IV(a)

Wildlife & Countryside Act Schedule 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GASTROPODS

 

 

 

 

HYGROMIDAE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hygromia kovacsi

land

x

 

PATELLIDAE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patella ferruginea

marine

x

 

 

HELICIDAE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caseolus calculus

land

x

 

NERITIDAE

 

 

 

 

Discula leacockiana

land

x

 

Theodoxus prevostianus

FW

x

 

 

Discula tabellata

land

x

 

Theodoxus transversalis

FW

x

 

 

Discula testudinalis

land

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discula turricula

land

x

 

TROCHIDAE

 

 

 

 

Elona quimperiana

land

x

 

Gibbula nivosa

marine

x

 

 

Geomitra moniziana

land

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helix pomatia

land

 

x

CAECIDAE

 

 

 

 

Idiomela  subplicata

land

x

 

Caecum armoricum

marine

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARIONIDAE

 

 

 

LYMNAEIDAE

 

 

 

 

Geomalacus maculosus

land

x

 

Myxas glutinosa

FW

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERGIPEDIDAE

 

 

 

HYDROBIIDAE

 

 

 

 

Tenellia adspersa

marine

x

 

Paladilhia hungarica

land

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadleriana pannonica

land

x

 

 


BIVALVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLANORBIDAE

 

 

 

 

MYTILIDAE

 

 

 

Anisus vorticulus

FW

x

 

 

Lithophaga lithophaga

marine

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUPILLIDAE

 

 

 

 

PINNIDAE

 

 

 

Leiostyla abbreviata

land

x

 

 

Atrina fragilis

marine

 

x

Leiostyla cassida

land

x

 

 

Pinna nobilis

marine

x

 

Leiostyla corneocostata

land

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leiostyla gibba

land

x

 

 

MARGARTIFERIDAE

 

 

 

Leiostyla lamellosa

land

x

 

 

Margaritifera margaritifera

FW

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLAUSILIDAE

 

 

 

 

UNIONIDAE

 

 

 

Lampedusa imitatrix

land

x

 

 

Unio crassus

FW

x

 

Lampedusa melitensis

land

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DREISSENIDAE

 

 

 

DISCIDAE

 

 

 

 

Congeria kusceri

caves

x

 

Discus guerinianus

land

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THYASIRIDAE

 

 

 

SUCCINEIDAE

 

 

 

 

Thyasira gouldi

marine

 

x

Quickella arenaria

land

 

x

 

 

 

 

 


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Copyright© 2009 British Shell Collectors' Club. All rights reserved.

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