On Title 18 of the Lacey Act…

“The one that is more of interest to aquaculture producers is Title 18 of the act. That prohibits the import into the United States and the interstate shipment of ‘injurious species.’ These are species designated by Congress of the Fish and Wildlife Service as harmful to human health, agriculture, or the environment.

“Most recently, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed several species of Asian carp as injurious. That includes the black carp, which had been cultured in many states and often sold across state lines for use as snail control in ponds.

“The current worry among some in the aquaculture community is that, by mistake, a carp species may be moved across state lines in, say, a catfish shipment. That could be a federal offense. While prosecutions for such a violation are unlikely, fines can be quite severe if charges were pursued.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Customs are responsible for enforcing the Lacey Act. The Department of Justice can bring both civil and criminal charges. Violations are considered Class B misdemeanor with maximum jail time of 6 months and maximum penalty of $5,000 for individuals.”

On invasive species…

“The reason we’ve gotten involved with invasive species is because of their environmental impact. Just look at what’s happened in the Great Lakes with zebra mussels. Those are now moving to the West. The mussels clog intake pipes at facilities like power plants. The control of them is very difficult and is an added operational expense.

“On the marine side, we’re starting to see problems with the impact of the lionfish. It’s expanding from Florida.

“Unfortunately, the Lacey Act, because of how long it takes to get an injurious species listed, isn’t a very effective tool for keeping invasive species from being introduced. State laws can be much more effective for that purpose.”