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Lacey Act


AquaKey
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Hi everyone,

Please don't make this a political post about your like or dislike of politicians or a political party that is not the intention of this post.

The house passed the America Competes Act and within it they added the Lacey Act. Within the Lacey Act it changes Federal Fish and Wildlife rules to a white list enforcement of animals traveling to and within the US. Meaning the default is banning all animals that are not domesticated and granting exceptions to species to be placed on the white list through a government process.

Please consider emailing your state representatives and senators if you feel this is not the right approach. I just emailed my representative and senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

If anyone else has read up on the Lacey Act and has additional insight please chime in.

Here is the US government website on the act: 

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/626?s=1&r=11

Here is an opinion post on what it would mean if made into law:

https://www.reef2rainforest.com/2022/02/04/federal-legislation-threatens-pets-zoos-aquariums-and-biomedical-research/

 

Edited by AquaKey
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Two key issues. 

1. The law would require federal agents to positively identify all species. Professional biologists with decades of training working in well funded labs can't meet this bar. But agents with at best TSA-level intelligence and training are going to somehow do it? 

2. The law makes absolutely no exceptions for farmed or captive raised animals. It would quite literally end the aquarium industry. 

 

 

Edited by Lexinverts
Let's try to keep this apolitical.
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46 minutes ago, EMeyer said:

Two key issues. 

1. The law would require federal agents to positively identify all species. Professional biologists with decades of training working in well funded labs can't meet this bar. But agents with at best TSA-level intelligence and training are going to somehow do it? 

2. The law makes absolutely no exceptions for farmed or captive raised animals. It would quite literally end the aquarium industry.

Good points.

The amendment is a poorly written piece of legislation that, fortunately, will not pass the Senate.

I just emailed both of our senators about it.

 

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5 hours ago, EMeyer said:

 

 

Two key issues. 

1. The law would require federal agents to positively identify all species. Professional biologists with decades of training working in well funded labs can't meet this bar. But agents with at best TSA-level intelligence and training are going to somehow do it? 

2. The law makes absolutely no exceptions for farmed or captive raised animals. It would quite literally end the aquarium industry. 

 

 

In addition, it is applied to non native CITES or no CITES animal.

The so called white list will start at blank, usually interested parties like trade and hobbyist farmer will need to provide proof that the non native

species is safe and should be on the list. So the burden of proof will cost money and shifted to public.

Inspection should be done by USFWS agent at port of entry in case of import which is currently on going then there will be fish and game inspection for intra state commerce or even just individuals trade.

The bill also stipulated funding USFWS for 150 millions a year for the next 8 years for this purpose.

The exact same wording of this bill has been introduced several times in the past and ended up dead on the senate floor. I hope the same this time around.

Both trade people and hobbyist should read and understand Lacey Act since is it the law of the land for reef animals in the aquarium trade. It is highly regulated including corals that has been propagated / aquaculture domestically, no separate distinction as far as the law concerns.

Currently there is active coral laundering activity in out trade, as stakeholder we should not support this kind of activity. For example we have seen Malaysia Acropora and Malaysia Euphyllia since late 2021 being imported by 2-3 importers in Los Angeles. Sabah province of Malaysia since end of 2018 no longer issue cites permit so why the coral can be imported into the USA. None of the shipments after 2018 originating from Malaysia, it is coming to Los Angeles by way of Hong Kong. The exporter in Hong Kong using re-export cites permit from Indo / Australia origin shipment. But when Hong Kong exporter shipping to USA they substitute the acropora product with acropora that has been smuggled out of Malaysia. This is called laundering activity to make it illegal product legal. Base on Lacey Act this activity is illegal, when the wildlife taken illegally from origin country it can never be washed to make it legal.

The same situation for Malaysia euphyllia except the euphyllia being shipped to USA are coming from Vietnam / Cambodia that USA has ban coral import from this countries to USA. Again none of so called Malaysia euphyllia ever imported using Malaysia cites permit after 2018.

Please do not support the product and refuse the urge to buy it.

Lacey Act also dictates even at hobbyist level we should know where our live coral coming from and how they are being imported to USA. Seller has to provide statement if buyer requested as indicated on Lacey Act that the coral imported legally and from legal source. This is why live coral is define as highly regulated commodity, unfortunately most of us not aware about his aspect of the hobby.

Many coral importer will say my import shipment has been cleared by USFWS so it is legal. Not as simple as that. US Customs / USFWS / Agriculture issue import clearance as temporary clearance. It means that at time of import paperwork provided as evidence appear to be legit. But later on, up to 5 years later, these agencies can revoke clearance if any evidence obtain later that paperwork presented was not valid. In case of illegal product no time limit for revoking clearance.

If you are the reefing hobby please read Lacey Act so you can help safeguard this hobby.

 

 

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7 hours ago, goldenbasketreef said:

In addition, it is applied to non native CITES or no CITES animal.

The so called white list will start at blank, usually interested parties like trade and hobbyist farmer will need to provide proof that the non native

species is safe and should be on the list. So the burden of proof will cost money and shifted to public.

Inspection should be done by USFWS agent at port of entry in case of import which is currently on going then there will be fish and game inspection for intra state commerce or even just individuals trade.

The bill also stipulated funding USFWS for 150 millions a year for the next 8 years for this purpose.

The exact same wording of this bill has been introduced several times in the past and ended up dead on the senate floor. I hope the same this time around.

Both trade people and hobbyist should read and understand Lacey Act since is it the law of the land for reef animals in the aquarium trade. It is highly regulated including corals that has been propagated / aquaculture domestically, no separate distinction as far as the law concerns.

Currently there is active coral laundering activity in out trade, as stakeholder we should not support this kind of activity. For example we have seen Malaysia Acropora and Malaysia Euphyllia since late 2021 being imported by 2-3 importers in Los Angeles. Sabah province of Malaysia since end of 2018 no longer issue cites permit so why the coral can be imported into the USA. None of the shipments after 2018 originating from Malaysia, it is coming to Los Angeles by way of Hong Kong. The exporter in Hong Kong using re-export cites permit from Indo / Australia origin shipment. But when Hong Kong exporter shipping to USA they substitute the acropora product with acropora that has been smuggled out of Malaysia. This is called laundering activity to make it illegal product legal. Base on Lacey Act this activity is illegal, when the wildlife taken illegally from origin country it can never be washed to make it legal.

The same situation for Malaysia euphyllia except the euphyllia being shipped to USA are coming from Vietnam / Cambodia that USA has ban coral import from this countries to USA. Again none of so called Malaysia euphyllia ever imported using Malaysia cites permit after 2018.

Please do not support the product and refuse the urge to buy it.

Lacey Act also dictates even at hobbyist level we should know where our live coral coming from and how they are being imported to USA. Seller has to provide statement if buyer requested as indicated on Lacey Act that the coral imported legally and from legal source. This is why live coral is define as highly regulated commodity, unfortunately most of us not aware about his aspect of the hobby.

Many coral importer will say my import shipment has been cleared by USFWS so it is legal. Not as simple as that. US Customs / USFWS / Agriculture issue import clearance as temporary clearance. It means that at time of import paperwork provided as evidence appear to be legit. But later on, up to 5 years later, these agencies can revoke clearance if any evidence obtain later that paperwork presented was not valid. In case of illegal product no time limit for revoking clearance.

If you are the reefing hobby please read Lacey Act so you can help safeguard this hobby.

 

 

Dang.  Very well worded.  Thanks for sharing!

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My post was edited and text deleted without any acknowledgement or discussion. I'm just gonna say that out loud and leave it there. 

 

And here people are still talking about this as if it was a standalone act that would be voted up or down in the Senate based on the merits and what their constituents want. But I guess when you refuse to acknowledge politics you end up drawing the wrong conclusions. 

[quote]The house passed the America Competes Act and within it they added the Lacey Act.[/quote]

 

Edited by EMeyer
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30 minutes ago, EMeyer said:

My post was edited and text deleted without any acknowledgement or discussion. I'm just gonna say that out loud and leave it there. 

 

And here people are still talking about this as if it was a standalone act that would be voted up or down in the Senate based on the merits and what their constituents want. But I guess when you refuse to acknowledge politics you end up drawing the wrong conclusions. 

[quote]The house passed the America Competes Act and within it they added the Lacey Act.[/quote]

 

Ok, it looks like the forum software is not showing the note that I left when I moderated the post. Sorry about that. I will try to fix it.

FYI: The Lacey Act is not new. It is our oldest environmental law (1900). The legislation in question was an amendment to the Lacey Act, and this amendment is poorly written and seriously flawed. Similar things have been tried in the past and they died on the Senate floor. The same will happen here, but it is extremely important that we reach out to our senators to explain why it should not pass.

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Bug in the moderation software perhaps. The forum does not show any evidence the post was ever edited, at least not to the original author of the post. We can continue that discussion outside the thread. I leave this note here to explain that we are seeing literally different things when we view this thread. 

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1 minute ago, EMeyer said:

Bug in the moderation software perhaps. The forum does not show any evidence the post was ever edited, at least not to the original author of the post. We can continue that discussion outside the thread. I leave this note here to explain that we are seeing literally different things when we view this thread. 

Do you see it now?

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The way I look at this amendment bill is the additional funding to USFWS for 150mil a year for the next 8 years. So to justify funding they have to create a job to make a white list of non native and no dangerous wild animal to public. The wording for the funding also too general where the money can be use for other activities within USFWS.

Since there are not many reefer compare to general public it will be easier to close the trade by giving 1 million each to reefer to quit the hobby, the cost would be cheaper and easier to do than creating a white list 🤣

Edited by goldenbasketreef
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Thanks all for calling out the issues here.  I am sure this will always be a highly debated albeit niche issue within the larger conversations around non-native and protected species.  While there clearly are significant ecological problems related to release of non-indigenous species (see Florida for examples), broad brush and poorly thought out solutions often cause more collateral damage than help - which appears to be the case here.  As noted above, it is definitely important to stay informed and vocal on these topics when opportunity presents.  It would be nice if there was more focus on supporting sustainable alternatives that have started to appear vs. taking the path of blanket prohibitions... especially since those have generally proven ineffective long term (see Rudy's example above).  Everyone in the hobby has a vested interest in making it ecologically sound and sustainable (even if they aren't aware).

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Here's a fairly helpful summary given by Coral Magazine:

https://www.reef2rainforest.com/2022/02/09/aquarium-apocalypse-can-lacey-act-amendments-really-cripple-or-end-the-u-s-aquarium-and-pet-trade/

There is a useful discussion between Rich Ross, Ben Johson and Matt Pedersen here:

 

Notwithstanding the title of the episode, "the aquarium hobby is doomed" it doesn't seem likely that the Lacey Act amendments will become law anytime soon. It is very important, however, to contact our senators and let them know why the Lacey Act amendment should not become law in this form. And, finally, we need to support the PIJAC, wich is the only political organization that our hobby has to communicate our concerns to congress. See link below.

https://pijac.org/

 

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