Prohibition of snakeheads in the US

Walter R. Courtenay, Jr. ; Florida Atlantic University - Walter R. Courtenay

Introduction to 'Caught in the Net'

Caught in the Net is a series of articles about the virtual existence of snakeheads on the Internet. It will cover several topics: snakeheads as food, ecological intruder, aquarium mate, role in biodiversity, and so on. Each article covers passages and links found. Partially, we will link to it. Since the numbers of links is high, and time is rare, we cannot guarantee for its availability. But you may report broken links with this. To be honest, it would be a big help :-)).

The situation of keeping snakeheads after 26 of August 2002 in the U.S.A.

The proposed federal regulation would ban all live fishes of the family Channidae, not just the 28 species currently recognized as valid by Drs. Prachya Musikasinthorn, Peter Ng, and others, from importation and interstate transport within the United States and its territories. What it would not prohibit is possession, sales, or gifts of living snakeheads within states or territories where possession, sales, or gifts of this group of fishes are legal.

Until July 2002, all live species of the family Channidae (=Ophicephalidae) were specifically prohibited from import and possession in 13 states. Those states are Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Several of these states have prohibited import and possession of channid fishes since the 1960s. Despite these laws and regulations, there have been illegal activities involving import or sale of snakeheads in several of these states in recent years. Within these past two weeks, two additional states have made possession illegal: Arkansas (where it is alleged that as many as three fish farms were culturing the northern snakehead, Channa argus, for the live food fish market) and Pennsylvania. Some other states will likely also prohibit possession of live snakeheads in future weeks or months.

Background: The 'Frankenfish' case of Crofton

For everybody who would like to understand the origin of it all, that one might follow the links below:
Oooops! Frankenfish goes for dogs too!The danger of Frankenfish was anticipated in 50s already, one is dared to say. ;-)

  1. The shocker of Crofton.
  2. Here you can see some pictures of the intruders: External picture gallery on the Crofton incident. Caught 'Frankenfish specimens'
  3. For convenience, search Google for this topic: Searching the crofton incident on Google
  4. Search CNN for this topic: Searching CNN for snakeheads
  5. This is the original proposed US rule banning channa: The proposed rule for banning snakeheads (as pdf!)

Acknowledgement and Source(s)

This text the author has emailed to us. The author have granted the right to publish it on the org's site.

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