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View Full Version : I see alot of people asking about Asian Arowanas



tanks4thememories
09-03-2008, 05:34 AM
I found this interesting thread on MFK (Monster Fish Keepers) regarding why it is illegal to keep asain Arowana in the US.

http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-3656.html

and I quote:

"They are illegal because of a United States federal law -Anne

reposted from page 3 this thread
Thank you for your email concerning the importation and potential
downlisting of Asian bonytongue, Scleropages formosus under the Endangered
Species Act (ESA). I have reviewed your email carefully, and would like to
share the perspective of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on this
issue of international importance.

The species was listed as endangered in 1976 under the U.S. Endangered
Species Act. Endangered foreign species, such as S. formosus, cannot be
imported to the United States for primarily commercial purposes even if
they are captive-bred. Importation for personal or hobby use would be
considered commercial activity. Furthermore, any importation of an
endangered species, captive-bred or not, must enhance the status of the
species in the wild in some direct way. In the past, the USFWS has
approved the import of small numbers of bonytongue for research and
captive-breeding purposes. The applicants in these cases are involved in
research or re-introduction programs that should help bolster wild
populations of the fish. Importation of farm-raised and selectively bred
bonytongue does not, in our view, enhance the wild populations directly.
While captive-bred populations of S. formosus may be abundant in Southeast
Asia, their use does not necessarily encourage the conservation of wild
populations and may result in unsustainable harvest for breeding stock.
These fears have been echoed by Indonesian scientists who I've consulted
while visiting the country and examining arowana farms.

It's important to note that these provisions of the ESA apply regardless of
the status of the species in the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but that body has
recently concurred with an Indonesian report that the species remains
endangered throughout its range. There are no current or planned research
initiatives known from any range country (Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia,
Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia) to study the conservation status of wild S.
formosus. Thus, there is no known scientific basis for downlisting from
threatened to endangered under the ESA in any part of the species' range.
Until data are presented to the USFWS or gathered, it appears that
downlisting is not warranted.

If we can obtain information that indicates that wild Asian arowanas are no
longer in danger of extinction, the USFWS will prioritize the species for
downlisting to threatened status. I am developing research initiatives to
gather this information. If the species is in fact downlisted to
threatened status, U.S. hobbyists could import captive-bred specimens with
the appropriate ESA and CITES permits. If you would like to learn more
about the Endangered Species Act, please visit our website at
http://endangered.fws.gov/. If you would like to learn more about the
USFWS, foreign species, and CITES, visit our website at
http://international.fws.gov/

Thank you for your interest in and committment to the conservation of Asian
bonytongue. I look forward to working with dedicated members of the public
such as yourself as we continue our investigations of this species'
recovery in the wild."

Sounguru
09-03-2008, 05:44 AM
So basically they are saying as long as the wild population is endangered then it will be a no go... Funny I wonder why that doesn't apply to fish like cherry barbs which are thought to be extinct in their home range. I wonder if it is because they are bred here in the US, but i know that they are imported from asia also... Sounds like a double standard to me.

tanks4thememories
09-03-2008, 05:52 AM
So basically they are saying as long as the wild population is endangered then it will be a no go... Funny I wonder why that doesn't apply to fish like cherry barbs which are thought to be extinct in their home range. I wonder if it is because they are bred here in the US, but i know that they are imported from asia also... Sounds like a double standard to me.

it is also interesting that the certificate program stipulates that any breeders who are authorized to sell certified farm raised Asian arowana also dedicate a percentage of their stock to restocking the wild. So that really confuses me as to why the US says no to importing them.

tanks4thememories
09-03-2008, 05:57 AM
Here are some interesting quotes from the same thread on the penalties for having one in the US:

"Most people who get caught with banned/restricted fish do so because they want to brag o show them off.The actual penalties are up to a fine of $10,000.00 confiscation of the fish and a possible sentance of up to a year in jail-Anne"

and

"In addition to federal penalties the locals can add their charges and penalties. They can also ban you from owning fish tanks for at least two years and be able to check at anytime. You will also pick up a felony and lose the right to own firearms.
Asian aros can also get you in trouble with Customs, another felony, and might get you a CITES violation in which case they might deny you a passport and will definitely cause a hassle when travelling back from overseas, expect a thorough customs inspection everytime.
As far as getting caught, I have seen programs and read articles about sting operations that arrange traffic in illegal wildlife in order to bust buyers and trafficers. A couple years ago they busted people all over the country for illegal parrots."

tanks4thememories
09-03-2008, 05:59 AM
I guess Id have to move to Canada if I want one...:(:confused: