13 September 2018

Crayfish crimes

Prosecutions for anything to do with the aquarium trade is rare, but last week, news reported Justin Doyle Pierce, an American was prosecuted for selling crayfish as pets, in violation of the Lacey Act)

Pierce sold over $19,000 worth of crayfish illegally, and for this, he got a $500 fine, 20 hours of community service, and a year on probation. By my quick scan of the act, he could have received jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

Is this sort of enforcement acting as a deterrent? It’s not clear. When someone can make that much money, the fine is little more than a clap on the wrist. The real penalty may not be the fine or the service, but the criminal record. Pierce wrote:

(T)his will result in my disqualification of future employment in areas related to wildlife and conservation.

External links

Feds pinch Camden County man for illegal crayfish sales
Overview of the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. SS 3371-3378)
Lacey Act cases

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