Suspected of illegally smuggling the endangered and most expensive Asian “dragon fish” and bringing invasive “raw fish” into the United States
[Epoch Times, July 22, 2021](Epoch Times reporter Cai Rong New York reported) An Asian man in Pennsylvania who specializes in selling rare and exotic freshwater tropical fish pleaded guilty in the Federal Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on the 20th for violating wildlife The plant protection law “Lacey Act” (Lacey Act), trafficking in endangered and invasive fish.
Anthony Nguyen, an Asian man from Pittsburgh, and Jackie Lee, 49, are suspected of illegally smuggling the endangered Asian “Arowana” and bringing invasive “raw fish” into the United States. He was charged with three counts of selling invasive fish species on November 13 last year.
At the plea hearing, Ruan admitted that he violated the Lacey Act in 2016 when he sold illegally imported Asian arowanas, which are native to Southeast Asia and are protected by the US Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Arowana is also known as “Asian Bonytongue Fish” (Asian Bonytongue Fish). It is considered to be the most expensive freshwater aquarium fish on the planet. The price of the specimen alone has been fetched as high as tens of thousands of dollars. It belongs to ancient fish. .
According to reports, the dragon fish is called the dragon fish because its god and shape are similar to those of dragons. It has two beards on its mouth and large shiny scales on its body. It has an ancient life and is therefore in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The places where overseas Chinese are concentrated, they are known as auspicious things, and they are raised as feng shui fish, which are considered to be good for homes, town houses, and evil spirits. Especially the red arowana, because it is endangered, the 1980 Washington Wildlife Conservation Treaty listed it as a Class A protected animal, and its status is noble.
Arowana is also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Animals and Plants (CITES), which is dedicated to the protection of the most endangered fish and wild animal species.
Ruan also admitted to violating the Lacey Act and Pennsylvania law by selling invasive and harmful snakehead fish and forging documents related to the transportation of snakehead fish in 2019. Snakehead fish (called raw fish in Guangdong) is native to Asia, but has been introduced into the freshwater environment of the United States.
Jonathan D. Brightbill, Chief Deputy Assistant Attorney of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Department of Justice, said: “Snakehead fish pose a serious threat to our native ecosystem. These fish are banned for a reason. They are in the food chain. The medium is a phagocytic fish, which can continue to live for a few days away from the water, can crawl on land, and can eliminate native species that live in the freshwater waters of the United States.”
The judge is set to sentence Nguyen on November 1, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge. ◇
Editor in charge: Li Yue #