A proposal was sent by the United States to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to list the Indonesian Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) under its appendix II protection. CITES is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
The proposal aimed to protect the small tropical marine fish found around the Banggai Islands of Indonesia. The proposal stated that the current collection rates for the aquarium trade is unsustainable and if continued the species could become extinct within the next decade.
The proposal was withdrawn by the United States after the pet industry lobbied that there were other ways to protect the Banggai Cardinalfish and the proposed listing could possibly lead to a complete halt on the export of wild Banggai Cardinalfish.
Proponents of the proposal referred to the fish having been successfully bred in captivity, thus eliminating the need to export wild ones and that the proposed listing would not terminate all trade of the species.
Currently the only protection the fish has is a law prohibiting people from outside the area from collecting them.