Imports and Exports of Lionfish to be Subject to Revised Declaration Requirements
The Fish & Wildlife Service has announced that effective July 8 all importers and exporters of lionfish must separately record any live specimens of the genera Brachypterois, Dendrochirus, Ebosia, Parapterois and Pterois on different lines of the FWS Declaration (form 3-177, whether filed electronically or in paper form). Declarations that combine any species of these genera as one line item of marine, freshwater or tropical fish will be rejected for correction.
The FWS explains that the Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force is drafting a National Invasive Lionfish Prevention and Management Plan and that implementation of this plan requires an understanding of import/export practices and appropriate monitoring strategies. However, the specific quantity of lionfish imported into the U.S. by species is currently unknown because tropical fish can be declared on form 3-177 in a general manner as marine or freshwater fish. While the invoice must contain detailed species information, the FWS states that this information is not easily retrievable via its database.