Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

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Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-03, 19:20

Washington FishBox respects all Washington State and United States federal laws governing the keeping, transportation, and sale of aquatic animals and plants.  As such, it is a violation of forum rules to discuss the keeping, transportation, and / or sale of plant and animal species that are prohibited by law, or to discuss engaging in aquaria-related activity that violates the law.  Please see the below information on Washington State and Federal law covering aquatic plant and animal species.

Failure to abide by these rules may result in one or more of the following forum actions, depending on severity: private lecture via PM, public lecture via post, deletion of post and / or thread, removal of offending user from Washington FishBox.  The last step is highly unlikely, but please try to respect the rules.

We actively encourage every member here on FishBox to enjoy the aquarium hobby within the confines of the law. Smile

Laws covering aquatic animal and plant species can be broken into three categories.  The first is invasive species - possession, transportation, and sale of these animals and plants within the state of Washington or the United States are prohibited due to their propensity to cause ecological damage.  The second category is protected species - transportation and sale of these animals and plants are prohibited on the basis that they are threatened or endangered in the wild.  The third category is collection laws.


First and foremost: It is illegal to release aquarium animals or plants into the wild, period.  Don't do it, EVER.


Invasive / Pest Species

Animals

Washington State Aquatic invasive Animal Species: http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/wac.html  
 Raw Law Text: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=220-12-090

This list covers all invasive aquatic species including vertebrates and invertebrates.  Any species listed under section 1 is prohibited by law meaning they cannot be kept, transported, bought, or sold.  Some common aquaria banned by this law: All crayfish (there are some very narrow exceptions here, read the law for details), snakeheads, piranhas, various carp, round goby, certain gars, rosy red (fathead) minnow.

Federal Plant Pest Regulation

A PPQ 526 plant pest permit is required for the importation or interstate movement of mollusks that feed upon or infest plants or plant products.

APHIS page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/permits/organism/snails_slugs.shtml

This includes: Pomacea Canaliculata - the big brother of Pomacea Diffusa (Mystery snails are NOT regulated).


Plants

Washington State Noxious Weed Quarantine list: http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/searchResultsQuarantine.asp

Any plants listed on the Washington State noxious weed quarantine list are illegal to possess, transport, buy, or sell.  The list of aquatic plants is near the bottom of the page.  Some very common aquarium plants on this list: Cabomba Caroliniana (Green Cabomba / Fanwort), Egeria Densa (Brazilian Elodea, Anacharis), Hydrilla verticillata (Hydrilla)

Federal Noxious weed List: http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxious?rptType=Federal

Any plants listed on the federal noxious weed list are illegal to transport, buy, or sell, particularly across state lines.  Common aquarium plants on this list: Hygrophila Polysperma (Dwarf Hygro, Indian Waterweed)


Endangered or Threatened Species

The Lacey Act implements CITES in the United States: http://www.fws.gov/international/laws-treaties-agreements/us-conservation-laws/lacey-act.html

This prohibits transport and sale of various threatened or endangered species.  For details on which species are covered by CITES, see the following link:

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) species information: http://www.fws.gov/international/cites/species-information.html

Common species banned by the Lacey Act: Scleropages formosus (Asian Arowana)

Collection Laws

The 2013 Fish Washington Sport Fishing Rules booklet: http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01500/wdfw01500.pdf

In the state of Washington it is illegal to transport live game fish without a permit.  This means that one can't harvest fish from waterways in Washington State and add them to an aquarium.  In addition, it's illegal to sell recreationally caught fish.

Scientific Collection Permits:  http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/scp

It's also illegal to collect fish from waters in Washington State for research or public display purposes without a permit.


This is not an exhaustive set of laws, so please let me know if you’re aware of any I’ve missed and I’ll update this post.  Also, please let me know if you’re aware of common species banned by these various laws that are not yet listed so that I may update those lists as well.


Last edited by pbmax on 2013-12-02, 18:20; edited 18 times in total (Reason for editing : Updated title to better reflect content and updated rosy red / fathead minnow name)
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2013-09-03, 19:38

Looks good to me Smile just awaiting the other mods and/or Cory to approve as well.

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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-03, 19:39

Please let me know if there's anything I should change. Smile
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Madness on 2013-09-03, 19:43

Spot On 

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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-03, 21:49

Added information on collection laws and made it clear that releasing aquaria is illegal.
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  DMD123 on 2013-09-03, 22:03

Looks good. Spot On 
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  anderson_p_r on 2013-09-03, 22:04

Interesting, I recently bought a plant from a LFS that I was told on this forum is a variety of Cabomba, though I can't remember which. I had an ID me post up, but I can no longer locate that post. Thoughts?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-03, 22:09

Likely illegal. I've seen egeria densa for sale locally, as well as crayfish. Most folks don't know what the laws are; the goal of this post is to help fix that. Smile
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  anderson_p_r on 2013-09-03, 22:16

Since looking at the list more closely I noticed I also have hydrilla. huh...
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-03, 22:19

anderson_p_r wrote:Since looking at the list more closely I noticed I also have hydrilla.  huh...
Interesting; where did you get it?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Gryphon on 2013-09-03, 23:24

Very good! I was going to suggest this in the other thread about dwarf crays but someone beat me to it.
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Aquarium Co-Op on 2013-09-03, 23:41

Been made a global announcement which means stickied in every forum.

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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-04, 00:09

Fantastic; thanks Cory! Smile
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  earthfish on 2013-09-04, 00:13

If you have Crayfish what do you do with them?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  LuminousAphid on 2013-09-04, 00:15

Kill them! KILL THEM ALL!!!!

No don't do that. I would say, don't tell anyone you don't trust?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  earthfish on 2013-09-04, 00:17

HaHa! LOL I know a few people who have these and can't stand when people say illegal I had some and sold them off @ a fish auction. Just to find I loved them try to get new ones NO luck no knew crays *(
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-04, 00:22

Whether one likes or agrees with the law is irrelevant, unfortunately. The law is the law. I don't like it either, for the record.

My advice would be to enjoy them and/or find something that will eat them Wink I've kept them too in the past, but I won't acquire any new crays now that I'm aware of the law.
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  anderson_p_r on 2013-09-04, 00:24

I purchased both from local stores. I know I've given some to others, without knowing of course. oops.
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-04, 09:03

anderson_p_r wrote:I purchased both from local stores.  I know I've given some to others, without knowing of course.  oops.
What was the name it was sold under? If you bought it locally, then it should be on the common list. Smile

I saw egeria densa in a local shop a couple of years ago. I even mentioned it to the clerk who said he knew it was illegal. Suspect
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Spyral on 2013-09-04, 09:26

I've seen Alligator Gar in a few LFS's in Seattle.
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Gryphon on 2013-09-04, 09:45

earthfish wrote:If you have Crayfish what do you do with them?
Boil 'em, saute 'em, broil 'em, bake 'em, toss 'em in a salad....

I'm sure we can find something to do with them Twisted Evil 
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  anderson_p_r on 2013-09-04, 12:38

I'm more of a "oooh... that looks pretty, I'll take it." kinda plant shopper. I know terrible. Oh well. The shop I bought one plant from didn't have names with the plants, but they had a binder with pic/name associations. That being said I didn't ask and they didn't say. But I've seen a number of both plants I have available at multiple LFS.

If you didn't notice I'm not one to name names, but what are we to do? Obviously enforcement is lax, seems like the "responsible" thing to do is to be informed and honest fish keepers in an attempt to influence others and the hobby as a whole.

As a business owner I also wouldn't want to do harm to anyone's livelihood, but any business owner assumes certain risks. What are the penalties for a shop found distributing anything on the list?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Madness on 2013-09-04, 12:42

Spyral wrote:I've seen Alligator Gar in a few LFS's in Seattle.
Not any more. Not since the Feds busted several here recently.

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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-04, 12:52

anderson_p_r wrote:I'm more of a "oooh... that looks pretty, I'll take it." kinda plant shopper.  I know terrible.  Oh well.  The shop I bought one plant from didn't have names with the plants, but they had a binder with pic/name associations.  That being said I didn't ask and they didn't say.  But I've seen a number of both plants I have available at multiple LFS.  

If you didn't notice I'm not one to name names, but what are we to do?  Obviously enforcement is lax, seems like the "responsible" thing to do is to be informed and honest fish keepers in an attempt to influence others and the hobby as a whole.  

As a business owner I also wouldn't want to do harm to anyone's livelihood, but any business owner assumes certain risks.  What are the penalties for a shop found distributing anything on the list?
I would never name names either, and I didn't expect you to out a LFS for selling anything prohibited (petsmart / petco, well, that's a different story Wink). Enforcement is neither the goal of this forum nor this forum's job. I should have phrased my question differently; for that I apologize.

My interest is purely informational so that I can keep the commonly-found list up to date. That way FishBox members can be better informed about what is and isn't okay to discuss on here in the context of prohibited species commonly available for sale.

The plant was Hydrilla verticillata ?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Madness on 2013-09-04, 12:52

anderson_p_r wrote:I'm more of a "oooh... that looks pretty, I'll take it." kinda plant shopper.  I know terrible.  Oh well.  The shop I bought one plant from didn't have names with the plants, but they had a binder with pic/name associations.  That being said I didn't ask and they didn't say.  But I've seen a number of both plants I have available at multiple LFS.  

If you didn't notice I'm not one to name names, but what are we to do?  Obviously enforcement is lax, seems like the "responsible" thing to do is to be informed and honest fish keepers in an attempt to influence others and the hobby as a whole.  

As a business owner I also wouldn't want to do harm to anyone's livelihood, but any business owner assumes certain risks.  What are the penalties for a shop found distributing anything on the list?
As patrons we can only trust that what we buy is legal.  The local stores are that ones the need to be on their toes regarding the laws.  As for your last question, check out this article.   http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Feds-Seattle-pet-shop-owner-illegally-trafficked-3821771.php

Thanks to this investigation, all stores in the Seattle area were under investigation.  Ask Kevin (the old owner of APFP) he was stressed for months while it was going on.  Old employees of APFP and other Seattle LFS, were investigated, along with several frequent shoppers.  

We cant help it if we are clueless to the restrictions, and we are able to buy at the LFS, but when we do know about the restrictions and we illegally seek out these species and purchase, now there is a big issue.  

So the point to this thread is to raise awareness to those that dont really have a clue that that fish they want to buy, is actually illegal.

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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-04, 12:55

madness wrote:
We cant help it if we are clueless to the restrictions, and we are able to buy at the LFS, but when we do know about the restrictions and we illegally seek out these species and purchase, now there is a big issue.  

So the point to this thread is to raise awareness to those that dont really have a clue that that fish they want to buy, is actually illegal.
Precisely. Smile
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  anderson_p_r on 2013-09-04, 13:20

Sounds good. pbmax I'll pm you a pic of my tank and you can probably better tell me what they are Smile
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Lamental Jester on 2013-09-04, 16:07

madness wrote:As patrons we can only trust that what we buy is legal.  The local stores are that ones the need to be on their toes regarding the laws.  As for your last question, check out this article.   http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Feds-Seattle-pet-shop-owner-illegally-trafficked-3821771.php
Ah yes, QT, I remember this. Lol, Billy and I like to joke that the store is just a front for something.... sinister Suspect 
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Spyral on 2013-09-06, 12:03

This is how we catch crays here in Kentucky!



Yes, they are legal to catch, eat, keep in an aquarium (etc) here. Just need a FWFL. We can also catch and keep native fishes (certain ones) like Darters.



My club goes on collection trips often.

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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  Spyral on 2013-09-06, 12:57

madness wrote:Ask Kevin (the old owner of APFP)
Wait, Kevin doesn't own APFP anymore?
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-09-06, 15:04

I'm not a huge fan of many of the laws or the politics in WA, but it is what it is. You're lucky over there in Kentucky, at least from an aquaria perspective. Smile
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  BillHN on 2013-09-06, 15:24

Gryphon wrote:
earthfish wrote:If you have Crayfish what do you do with them?
Boil 'em, saute 'em, broil 'em, bake 'em, toss 'em in a salad....

I'm sure we can find something to do with them Twisted Evil 
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  cichlid-gal on 2013-09-06, 21:50

BillHN wrote:
Gryphon wrote:
earthfish wrote:If you have Crayfish what do you do with them?
Boil 'em, saute 'em, broil 'em, bake 'em, toss 'em in a salad....

I'm sure we can find something to do with them Twisted Evil 
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  DMD123 on 2013-09-06, 22:28

Spyral wrote:
madness wrote:Ask Kevin (the old owner of APFP)
Wait, Kevin doesn't own APFP anymore?
Kevin sold off his portion of the business to his partner. The store is going through some changes... have not heard any updates for a while now. Sounds like they were not going to carry the more exotic stuff and streamline.
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  pbmax on 2013-11-11, 22:39

I updated the first post today to add information on federal plant pest regulation covering Pomacea Canaliculata. This larger (evil) cousin to Pomacea Diffusa (mystery snail) is a fairly nasty critter that devours crops in florida and other similar locales. Importation and transport across state lines is prohibited without the appropriate permit (and good luck getting one).

Thanks for catching this one, Cory!
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Re: Forum Rules on Illegal Plant and Animal Species (State and Federal laws)

Post  jrmakawoody on 2014-04-03, 10:41

Just remember these laws were put in place to protect the local wildlife from irresponsible citizens.
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