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11 Species Named as Injurious Wildlife, Petition to Add 43 More

 FWS Names 11 Species as Injurious Wildlife,
CISP Petitions for 43 More


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a final rule on Friday, September 30, 2016, that will take effect 30 days after the publication date and list the crucian carp, Prussian carp, Eurasian minnow, roach, stone moroko, Nile perch, Amur sleeper, European perch, zander, wels catfish and the common yabby as Injurious Wildlife under authority granted by the Lacey Act. Injurious Wildlife are defined as being "injurious to human beings, to the interests of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, or to wildlife or wildlife resources of the United States." The rule will prohibit the importation and interstate transport of any live animal, gamete, viable egg or hybrid of each species listed, except by permit for zoological, educational, medical or scientific purposes. An injurious listing does not prohibit intrastate (within a state) transport or exportation from designated ports. For information about this rule visit: https://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/11-freshwater-species.html. Attached is the comment letter that NAA submitted in 2015.

The Center of Invasive Species Prevention (CISP) announced on the same day as the publication of the FWS rule that they had submitted a petition to FWS to list 43 species as Injurious Wildlife. Their petition is based upon a high risk finding for each species by the FWS. This petition includes native and nonnative species cultured, possessed or sold throughout the United States for food, water gardening, recreational fishing or biological control. These species, or their hybrids, are the black acara, blue catfish, common carp (i.e., koi), grass carp, guppy, Jaguar guapote, three plecos (Amazon, Orinoco and vermiculated sailfin catfish), red swamp crawfish, and three tilapia (i.e., blue, Mozambique and Nile). Additional native species include the alewife, flathead catfish, red shiner, white perch, and five crayfish (northern clearwater, rusty, signal, spiny-cheeked and virile). For a petition history and background, please see the CISP website, http://www.cisp.us/, and click on a blog post entitled: CISP files multi-species listing petition with US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) – per Lacey Act.
 
Farmers that produce any of these species, or species hybridized with them, should contact the NAA office at 850-216-2400 or naa@thenaa.net.

 

NAA has been very active in this issue.  Below is followup information

This past Monday the NAA distributed an Action Alert on this topic, but we thought that you should be familiar with additional information concerning recent regulatory action by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that may affect your members.

The FWS is using a quick environmental risk analysis, called an Ecological Risk Screening Summary (ERSS), to assess nonnative and native species impacts on the environment and likely locations that they might colonize the United States.  The FWS has dedicated several webpages to the ERSS and the reports that they have produced.  Please see: https://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/Injurious_prevention.html.

The FWS published a final rule this past Friday, September 30th, based, in-part, on ERSS reports, that lists 10 nonnative fish and one crayfish as Injurious Wildlife. Authority to do so is derived from the Lacey Act which was passed in 1900 to regulate hunting of wild game to supply commercial markets and prohibit the importation of nonnative Injurious Wildlife. Injurious Wildlife are defined as being “mammals, birds, fish (including mollusks and crustacea) amphibians, and reptiles” that are "injurious to human beings, to the interests of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, or to wildlife or wildlife resources of the United States."  Upon listing as Injurious Wildlife these live animals and their gametes, viable eggs or hybrids may not imported or transported interstate.  Information about the 11 species listing and Injurious Wildlife is available here: https://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/index.html.

The same day of the final rule for the 11 species, the Center of Invasive Species Prevention (CISP) announced that they had submitted a petition to list 43 species as Injurious Wildlife on September 23rd. Their petition was based solely upon a high risk ERSS findings by the FWS. This petition includes native and nonnative species cultured, possessed or sold throughout the United States for food, water gardening, recreational fishing or biological control. These species, or their hybrids, are 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 the three tilapia (i.e., blue, Mozambique and Nile). Attached is the CISP petition.  This is a link to the CISP website: http://www.cisp.us/.

This is a complex issue and it is critical to understand that hybrids of these species may be listed as Injurious Wildlife.  In particular, tilapia and catfish farmers could be impacted.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of responding to the CISP petition with constructive, science-based comments.  We believe farmers will be asking for assistance to develop comments or to provide biological or ecological data about these species. We also believe that very few farmers are familiar with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ecological Risk Screening Summaries (ERSS) or the process to list Injurious Wildlife.  The first step by the NAA is to bring everyone up to speed on this complex issue. We will be happy to work with you or your staff to provide information in that regard.  We are developing an issue summary and will share that with you when complete. 

Fortunately, the FWS has just received the petition and it will require sometime on their part to review it and gather additional information as required by their internal processes. We have reached out to the FWS, in particular, to determine when, how and what information will be effective in rebutting the petition.  We will share that information as well going forward.

 

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2015 NAA Comment Letter Injurious Species Listings   [ VIEW ] Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
2016 Hi Risk Petition Submitted by CISP   [ VIEW ] Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
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