Lobster Poachers BustedPosted by Santa Monica Admin, on August 21st, 2012 in Announcements, Sustainability
Bet your wondering how we’re going to work our way back to seafood, aren’t you?
First we’d like to introduce you to the Lacey Act. Introduced to Congress and signed into law by President William McKinley way back in the year 1900, the Lacey Act is a conservation law originally aimed at protecting wildlife from being illegally caught and then sold. It’s one way that our country works to end illegal fishing – and if you market seafood that’s been illegally harvested, it’s going to come back and bite you…
Case in point – just this past week, The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered three defendants to pay $54.9 million in restitution to the South African government for illegally taking lobsters from that country’s waters over a five-year period.
“These defendants stole an environmental asset from South Africa, and it is only fair that they pay the country back for that theft. This unprecedented ruling shows that the U.S. can and will take concerted action to stop illegal fishing and bring those U.S. citizens engaging in it to justice, whether it has occurred within or outside of U.S. waters. Most of the illegal catch was shipped to the United States for sale. This is the largest ever restitution awarded by a U.S. court under the historic Lacey Act, one of the oldest American conservation laws that protects plants and wildlife by establishing civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations, and most notably prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, transported, or sold.”
The last time the Lacey Act was in the news? Well, that brings us back to rock-n-roll... In 2009 Gibson Guitar paid a $300,000 penalty, plus a $50,000 “community service payment” to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help promote conservation of protected trees after they admitted to buying endangered Madagascar Ebony for use in the manufacturing of guitars which was a violation of the Lacey Act…
So rock on, seafood lovers, just do so legally by buying your fish from Santa Monica Seafood!