Believe it or not, the US government is considering the inclusion of our beloved Koi, (Cyprinus carpio) to its injurious species list. Being on the injurious species list would mean the movement of the species is strictly prohibited. The transportation of Koi across any state line would become illegal: a felony with penalties, both monetary and prison sentences being imposed. Such movement of Koi, as well as the importation of Koi, would be considered a direct violation of the U.S. Lacey Act.
If this occurs, it will become a federal crime for individuals to transport pet koi outside of their home state to participate in koi shows. No longer could any koi be purchased from outside of your home state. You would no longer have the option to purchase or import koi from Japan, or any other country. No koi will be allowed to cross state lines. Imagine, even in the event of relocation or retirement, you will be a charged with a felony if you move to another state and take your pet koi with you! The Koi hobby and industry could be devastated!
Read the U.S. Lacey Act at this link: https://www.fws.gov/le/pdffiles/Lacey.pdf
How is This Possible?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) received a petition on September 23, 2016 to list 43 native and nonnative aquatic species as Injurious Wildlife under the authority granted by the Lacey Act.
The title : Petition: To Amend 50 CFR §16.13 to List 43 High Risk Fish, Crayfish, and Mollusk Species as Injurious Species under the Lacey Act
The petition includes the black acara, blue catfish, common carp (i.e., koi), grass carp, guppies, Jaguar guapote, three plecos (Amazon, Orinoco and vermiculated sailfin catfish), red swamp crawfish, and three tilapias (i.e., blue, Mozambique and Nile). Many of the crayfish farmers in the south and tilapia producers throughout the country will be impacted.
The petition came from the Center for Invasive Species Prevention (CISP, a private, non-government organization).
Read the entire CISP petition at this link: http://www.nivemnic.us/cisp-files-multi-species-listing-petition-with-us-fish-wildlife-service-per-lacey-act/
See a Flow Chart on the Evaluation Process for Inclusion on the Injurious Species List: https://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/pdf_files/InjuriousWildlifeEvaluationProcessFlowChart.pdf
What Can Be Done?
The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) is a private entity that helps in the fight against changing regulations that could be detrimental to the aquaculture industry in the US. It is currently objecting to these proposed changes. As an active member of the NAA, Kloubec Koi Farm receives the latest information in regards to this issue and we will continue to pass pertinent information on to maintain awareness of any changes.
The US FWS must assess all petitions received, and it calls for public input on each one. At this time the US Fish & Wildlife Service is welcoming information on this issue. They’d like to hear from the industry, growers, sellers, consumers and hobbyists who may oppose the petition to include common carp (Cyprinus carpio) (i.e, Koi) to the national injurious species list.
Unfortunately, there is no set timeline for a determination. We certainly would like to raise as much opposition to this issue as possible in a relatively quick manner. It is in the hobby and industry’s best interests to be pro-active rather than re-active, should an unfavorable ruling be imposed.
Please help in the fight against the CISP petition!
Send comments to:
Mr. Craig Martin, Chief
Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species
US Fish & Wildlife Service
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703) 358-1932
Send a copy of your comments
National Aquaculture Association
PO Box 12759
Tallahassee, FL 32317-2759
Phone: (850) 216-2400
In addition to contacting the two entities above, it would be beneficial to contact your state legislators as well. You may use this link to find the appropriate office in your state for voicing an opinion: http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/
Write, call and email the offices to let them know that you strongly disagree with the inclusion of common carp, Koi, (Cyprinus carpio) to the injurious species list of the United States of America and the proposed regulation change.
A sample letter is below to assist in addressing this complicated issue.
Please feel free to use all or any of it, and add to it as you see fit. Please be firm, yet polite when voicing your strong opposition to the proposed regulation change.
I’d like to share an interesting fact about the common carp. In my conversations with the President of the Nation Aquaculture Association regarding this issue I was enlightened on just how the common carp was introduced to the United States. Back in the late 1800’s the US Fish & Wildlife Service, in its infancy operated under a different name, possibly the US Fish Commission. The agency intentionally stocked the common carp throughout the USA waters as a possible food source for the millions of immigrants populating our nation. At that time, it seemed like a good idea. Now there is no hope of eradicating the species.
Unfortunately, our genetically selected pets (Koi) are included in the entire species known as Cyprinus carpio and may be subject to these proposed stifling regulations proposed by the CISP; limiting its production, movement, and all of our enjoyment associated with the koi species and hobby.
In closing, I encourage everyone to make at least ONE contact regarding this issue to help prevent the inclusion of Koi to the injurious species list.
Spread the word to increase our chances of prevailing!
Your Friends in Koi,
Ellen Kloubec, Myron Kloubec & The Kloubec Koi Farm Staff
To (your legislator’s name here),
Today I am writing to express my concern and strong objection to a recently submitted petition from the CISP to add common carp (Cyprinus carpio, or koi) to the US Fish and Wildlife’s Injurious Species list.
Petition: To Amend 50 CFR §16.13 to List 43 High Risk Fish, Crayfish, and Mollusk Species as Injurious Species under the Lacey Act
I believe that this regulation change would be an absolute mistake with devastating economic effects to the water garden industry and nationally enjoyed Koi hobby, including Koi breeders, growers, equipment manufacturers, pond contractors, feed companies, etc.! Adding koi to the Injurious Species list will most certainly eliminate the koi, garden pond and water gardening industry. This would result in millions of dollars of revenue being lost from the US economy, as well as jobs and tax revenue lost from our state. The wide spread economic impact would be immeasurable.
I strongly encourage you to act in the best interest of the businesses and families in our state, and urge The US Fish and Wildlife Service NOT to move forward with this change in regulation.
I thank you for your time and consideration, as well as your public service to our state.
(Your name and address here)