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Re: Import regulations for field-collected killifishes?
I recently discussed this with a F&WL inspector based in Portland, OR. The
same regulations pertain to importing wild-caught fish as aquarium bred
fish, as long as they are not on the CITES list. You need to have filled
out the form that F&WL will give you listing the spp. names, and the
quantities, etc. In many cases they will make a determination as to whether
the importation is to be classified as commercial or not. This is based on
the number of specimens and on whether you intend to sell them. Whether you
make money or not is irrelevant to them. I was told anything over 10 or so
fish could be regarded as commercial. In your case, where you should be
able to show docs proving a university affiliation, I don't think that will
be an issue.
I recommend that you contact the F&WL people ahead of time at your port of
entry into the US. Tell them when you expect to arrive. They will probably
agree to be on call at that time so that when you get in you can call them
and an inspector will come to the airport or entry port. I don't think
there is any substitute for contacting them early on and making sure they
understand what you are doing.
When you arrive, you might first interact with customs people, who likely
won't know the regs. If they let you right through, fine. If they don't,
make sure they call in the F&WL inspector who you will have primed
beforehand. If you have done the latter, it might be best to insist that
customs call them anyway. I would be concerned about sensitizing them by
first alerting them that you are bringing in fish, and then not turning up.
Any time I bring in wild fish I intend to play it by the book. The thought
of having all the fish confiscated is too much to bear. However, the bottom
line is that you can bring wild-caught fish in legally as long as they are
not on the CERTES list. I think there are prohibited specific imports, like
Barry J. Cooper, Prof., Dept. Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University
Current address: 27505 Riggs Hill Rd.
Sweet Home, OR 97386 (bjc3 at cornell_edu)
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