Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) toolkit

Supporting national CITES implementation

Seahorses were listed on CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix II in 2002, with implementation as of May 2004. All species of seahorse (Hippocampus spp.) are listed, which means trade can continue but must be managed to ensure it is sustainable (not detrimental to wild populations), legally sourced and monitored. In the case of live animals, the shipping process must also be humane.

Sustainability of the export is determined through an assessment known as a non-detriment finding (NDF), while legality is dictated via a legal acquisition finding (LAF). International trade in Appendix II species without evidence based NDFs or LAFs violate the treaty.

We developed a toolkit to help national CITES Authorities implement the Appendix II listing of seahorses and overcome any challenges to ensuring that wild seahorse populations are sustainable.

The toolkit includes:

  • Two guidance documents for making NDFs – a simplified, easier, one and a more comprehensive framework
  • Case studies where we applied our own advice on making NDFs, in Thailand and in India
  • Easy-to-use regional identification guides for seahorse species (dried or live) (in multiple languages).
  • Monitoring and management tools
  • Trade reports and information on seahorses organized by country.
  • Reference material on seahorse conservation

Access the full toolkit here: