Unlawful import of regulated fish into Canada nets $35K penalty for pet store

PIJAC Canada and our members have been working since the early 1990’s to support and participate in, CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in an effort to protect the world’s vulnerable species.

As reported by Environment and Climate Change Canada,  we were deeply disappointing to learn about a pet store which had illegally imported Asian Arowanas into Canada. Much discussion has occurred between members this week.  Mark Hagen and Eric Marquis of Rolf C. Hagen Inc wrote an eloquent text which we feel sums up perfectly why it is crucial to be vigilant and work within the parameters of CITES.

For decades, CITES has sought to ensure the protection of over 33,000 species of threatened animals and plants in nearly 200 countries. Without such important regulation and enforcement, the biodiversity of countless natural habitats would be negatively impacted forever.

 While we encourage aquarists to broaden their knowledge base by keeping various species, part of our dialogue emphasizes the importance of ensuring that they are always acquired from upstanding breeders who employ a sustainable methodology and sell through wholesalers and retailers that believe in the significance and relevance of CITES. 

 We emphatically request that all those involved in the fair trade of ornamental fish respect and abide by the CITES multilateral treaty. In doing so, we help to safeguard endangered plants and animals which, in turn, supports the preservation of our natural environments and hobby for future generations to enjoy.

While this species is now captive bred in ponds in Asia these fish still require CITES certificates.  PIJAC Canada will continue our involvement in CITES and encourage strict adherance to the legislation by our industry.