Update – Editor’s Note – The Blue Knight Lobster, Cherax destructor, should not be confused with the more common Electric Blue Lobster or Electric Blue Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii.
via US FWS Notice to Importers & Exporters, October 31, 2016
Ban on Importation and Interstate Transport of 10 Freshwater Fish and 1 Crayfish Species
Background: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has published a final rule in the Federal Register listing 10 freshwater fish and 1 crayfish species as injurious species under the Lacey Act. This listing, which becomes effective on October 31, 2016, covers the following species (see Federal Register Notice for more information):
- Crucian carp (Carassius carassius)
- Eurasian minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)
- Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio)
- Roach (Rutilus rutilus)
- Stone moroko (Pseudorasbora parva)
- Nile perch (Lates niloticus)
- Amur sleeper (Perccottus glenii)
- European perch (Perca fluviatilis)
- Zander (Sander lucioperca)
- Wels catfish (Silurus glanis)
- Common yabby (Cherax destructor)
The listing generally makes it illegal to import live animals, gametes, viable eggs, or hybrids of these species into the United States. (NOTE: Prohibited imports include shipments transiting through the United States on their way to other foreign destinations.) Interstate transport of any type (both commercial and with respect to personal pets) is also prohibited.
This listing does not prohibit the importation or interstate transport of dead specimens nor does it affect the sale and possession of these species within a State.
Direct export is still allowed from either a designated port or other location with a current designated port exception permit (DPEP) but any export must occur directly from the State where the species are present. Designated port exception permits will only authorize use of a staffed FWS port in the same State where the fish are located, and issuance will depend on the availability of Service inspection staff and other criteria. Fish may not be transported between States by any means for the purpose of eventual export.
Action: Effective October 31, 2016, it will be illegal to import any live animals, gametes, viable eggs, or hybrids of these species into the United States or to transport these species from one State to another (including transporting them for export) without a permit from the Service.
As of this date, these species may only be exported:
- Directly from a designated port in the State where the fish are already located; or
- Directly from a FWS staffed non-designated port in the State where the fish are located under a Service-issued designated port exception permit.
Flights carrying exports must be direct international flights to a foreign country that do not stop at an airport in another State. (Stopovers are allowed within the State from which the shipment is departing.)
Shipments moving by vehicle, truck or rail to Canada or Mexico may not enter another State in transit to these countries.
Any export shipments that transit another State by air or land will be considered contraband subject to seizure and forfeiture whether or not the exporter knew that such interstate transport would occur.
Those caught unlawfully bringing these injurious species into the United States or transporting them across State lines on or after this date face penalties that include up to 6 months in prison and fines as high as $5,000 for individuals or $10,000 for organizations.
Shipments that are in the process of being imported at the time of the effective date must physically arrive in the United States before October 31, 2016; shipments that enter the country on or after this date will be subject to seizure.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Office of Law Enforcement
703-358-1949; 703-358-2271 (fax)