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Fine and probation for Carib Sea!


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  1. #1

    Default Fine and probation for Carib Sea!

    Wasn't sure where to post this but, thought you'd like to be informed.

    Don't know if you've seen this but it goes to show you the owners of Carib Sea care more about profit than coral reefs.

    From: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls/PressR...061108-04.html

    FORT PIERCE COMPANY AND ITS PRESIDENT PLEAD GUILTY AND ARE SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY IMPORTING CORAL ROCK INTO THE UNITED STATES


    November 8, 2006
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Eddie McKissick, Resident Agent in Charge, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Hal Robbins, Special Agent in Charge, NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, Southeast Division, and Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced that Carib Sea, Inc., a Fort Pierce-based aquarium supply company, and Richard Greenfield, 46, of Fort Pierce, pled guilty and were sentenced in federal District Court on November 7, 2006, in connection with the illegal importation of more than 42,000 pounds of protected coral rock from Haiti to the United States. Both defendants were charged in connection with a shipment that arrived in March 2006, contrary to the laws of the United States and an international treaty intended to protect threatened and endangered species of wildlife, all in violation of the federal Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372 and 3373.
    United States District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke accepted the guilty pleas of the two defendants and proceeded to immediate sentencing. Carib Sea, Inc. was sentenced to a three year period of court-supervised probation and ordered to make a $25,000 community service payment to the South Florida National Park Trust to assist in funding and enhancing the existing Coral Nursery Program in Biscayne National Park.
    Richard Greenfield was also placed on three years probation, and ordered to pay a criminal fine in the amount of $25,000. Additionally, the defendants were held jointly liable for storage and transportation costs exceeding $10,000 which related to the March 2006 seizure and approximately 40,000 pounds of coral rock found and seized by the government at the company
    Amphibious

    If ignorance is BLISS, why are there so many miserable people in the world???

    Our web site, The Cultured Reef

  2. #2
    graphixx - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,785
    First Name
    Greg

    Default

    Dick, that is ridiculous. I cannot bieleve that. Chasing the allmighty dollar that is not someone who I would do business with in this hobby. sustainable efforts are very important to me. thanks for the article.
    fulltankshot 1 - Fine and probation for Carib Sea!

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for sharing this article. As responsible reefers, it is very imoprtant to stay on top of situations like this.


  4. #4

    Default

    Wow! That is such a different response than I saw on our local site!

    Here's one take:

    Carib Sea is being punished for taking terrestial rock. Rock not from a reef. Rock from land. Actually, saving a reef from being destroyed for rock.....

    I've met Richard Greenfield, and I think he is a good guy....

    You are only showing one side of the story.

  5. #5
    seahorsedreams - Reefkeeper Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Palos Verdes, California
    Posts
    482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
    Carib Sea is being punished for taking terrestial rock. Rock not from a reef. Rock from land. Actually, saving a reef from being destroyed for rock.....
    Where does it say he was taking terrestial rock?
    ______________________________________

    Renee

  6. #6

    Default

    Renee, I do not think thread will reveal the entire story. Sometimes, websites are used to promote businesses and somtimes they are used to attack the competition. I am not saying that is what is happening here, maybe there is another reason why I am the only one standing up for a company that has proven it's stand on the environment over and over. But these statements make me feel used:

    "Don't know if you've seen this but it goes to show you the owners of Carib Sea care more about profit than coral reefs."

    "I've never done business with Carib Sea because they hold an illegal monopoly on Aragonite sand in America. This seals the deal on my feelings of the company and the owners."

    Here's a tiny piece of the other side:


    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localne...1108coral.html

  7. #7
    lReef lKeeper - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    louisville ky
    Posts
    1,456
    First Name
    Bobby

    Default

    this is what i heard about this ...

    NEWS RELEASE: U.S. Department of Justice United States Attorney Southern
    District of Florida 99 N.E. 4 Street Miami, FL 33132 (305) 961-9001
    November 7, 2006

    FORT PIERCE COMPANY AND PRESIDENT PLEAD GUILTY
    AND ARE SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY IMPORTING
    CORAL ROCK INTO THE UNITED STATES

    R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern
    District of Florida, Eddie McKissick, Resident Agent in Charge, U.S.
    Fish & Wildlife Service, Hal Robbins, Special Agent in Charge, NOAA
    Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, Southeast Division, and Jesus
    Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration & Customs Enforcement,
    announced today that Carib Sea, Inc., a Fort Pierce based aquarium
    supply company, and Richard Greenfield, 46, of Fort Pierce, pled guilty
    and were sentenced in Miami federal District Court in connection with
    the illegal importation of more than 42,000 pounds of protected coral
    rock from Haiti to the United States. Both defendants were charged in
    connection with a shipment that arrived in March 2006, contrary to the
    laws of the United States and an international treaty intended to
    protect threatened and endangered species of wildlife, all in violation
    of the federal Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372
    and 3373.

    United States District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke accepted the
    guilty pleas of the two defendants and proceeded to immediate
    sentencing. Carib Sea, Inc. was sentenced to a three year period of
    court-supervised probation and ordered to make a $25,000 community
    service payment to the South Florida National Park Trust to assist in
    funding and enhancing the existing Coral Nursery Program in Biscayne
    National Park; a program operating to increase scientific understanding
    of coral growth with specific application to restoration and
    enhancement
    of coral reefs degraded by human activity and other causes by culturing
    a supply of hard and soft corals for translocation into damaged sites.

    Richard Greenfield was also placed on three years probation, and
    ordered to pay a criminal fine in the amount of $25,000. Additionally,
    the defendants were held jointly liable for storage and transportation
    costs exceeding $10,000 which related to the March 2006 seizure and
    approximately 40,000 pounds of coral rock found and seized by the
    government at the company’s business location. The coral rock involved
    in this matter, with a market value of approximately $75,000, is being
    transferred to a non-profit research institution, Harbor Branch
    Oceanographic Institute to avoid its being entered into commercial
    commerce. The defendants are also obligated to publish a notice in
    three
    publications related to the aquarium trade, explaining their violation
    of law and the applicable requirements of CITES and U.S. regulations.

    According to the Information filed in this matter and a statement
    of facts presented in Court, in March 2006, the defendants were
    involved
    in the importation of a cargo-container load of coral rock from Haiti.
    Under a convention known as “CITES” - the Convention on International
    Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, more than 150
    countries have banded together to provide protection to a variety of
    species in danger of imminent extinction, or which may become so, if
    trade in their specimens is not carefully regulated. That protection
    extends to all coral rock, which is an invertebrate within the phylum
    coelenterate. To legally import such specimens into the United States,
    the importer must, among other requirements, obtain and present to the
    Fish & Wildlife Service a valid foreign export permit from the country
    of origin, or if the country of origin is not a CITES member, such as
    Haiti, a corresponding document described in U.S. regulations. Neither
    of the defendants, or their Haitian supplier, possessed or presented
    the
    appropriate documentation for the coral in this case at the time of
    importation

    Coral reef destruction has been the subject of intense debate at
    the meetings of the parties to CITES. Loss of reef habitat, which is
    one
    of the most productive and diverse ecosystems, is a world-wide concern.
    As nurseries for marine species of commercial value, as well as a
    source
    of income from recreational fishing and eco-tourists, and a protective
    barrier for coastlines, a significant effort is underway to preserve
    the
    existing reef structures and reverse their decline.

    Mr. Acosta commended the coordinated investigative efforts of the
    U.S.
    Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and
    Immigration & Customs Enforcement, which brought the matter to a
    successful conclusion. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant
    United
    States Attorneys Thomas Watts-FitzGerald.

    A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the
    United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at
    www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be
    found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of
    Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

    Tom R. MacKenzie
    Chief, Media Relations
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Southeast Region
    404-679-7291 Fax:404-679-7286 Cell: 678-296-6400
    http://www.fws.gov/southeast

    i got it from this link ...

    http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic50823-9-1.aspx

  8. #8
    mutts - Reefkeeper Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    904
    First Name
    Manda Wolf

    Default

    this is all very interesting... i think this as i eye 120 lbs of carib sea products on my floor...

    and what i have learned about life so far is that there are about 44 differant sides of every story
    ~Amanda~

    It is really nice to see you here in this thread. While your online how about you go over to the TOTM thread and enter or vote. It will only take a minute

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
    Here's a tiny piece of the other side:
    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localne...1108coral.html
    Thank you for sharing this article. It really is important for conscientious folks to be informed of current events that impact our "hobby".

    ...maybe there is another reason why I am the only one standing up for a company that has proven it's stand on the environment over and over. But these statements make me feel used...
    Wow, Suzy. I'm sorry to hear that Richard's opinions were so hurtful to you, but please do not take personal offense. Members having different opinions does not need to be a cause of distress - for anyone.

    I appreciate both articles that were posted here. We NEED to keep one another "up to speed" on issues, trends, etc.!!!:D


  10. #10
    JustDavidP - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Marlborough, MA
    Posts
    738

    Default

    FYI... Excerpted from my Boston Reefer's Society Forums:

    Apparantley this was a "technicality". They had permits, but apparently this rock fell into another category. Anthony Calfo contacted them and wrote this (got this from RC)

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To all - the the above story/issue re: Carib Sea did not make sense to me at face value - the company is so big, so industry friendly... and so smart, etc

    So I talked to the company directly for the skinny on it... turns out the matter is as suspected (administrative oversight... non-nefarious, and rather minor IMO):

    The gist of it from ems:

    ------------------------------

    The product was our reef bones. It is dead live rock, and a common construction material in Haiti and many other tropical islands. It was a nice looking product when we released it several years back... as I am sure you are aware, all of the laws, and permits for these various resources can be very confusing. We simply did not have the proper permit in place for one container of product of the several we had brought in over the last few years. We now have the correct permit. It’s funny a simple $100 permit cost us upwards of a quarter of a million dollars in fines, legal fees, storage fees, and the product they kept.

    Fortunately we learned a lot from this experience. We will continue on our path, helping and donating time, money, and product to research groups and conservation efforts such as our program with the Blue Iguana Recovery Program (www.blueiguana.ky) to help save the Blue Iguana.

    People tend to overlook anything good, and focus on the size of the fine and company name.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    And a second post:

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    so the summary is... much like the unclear (and often unknown by officers themselves) Fish and Wildlife regs that badly jamb up LFS owners importing (and kill animals for the vague paper recs) - Caribsea's oversight was a documentation issue on one among several legal shipments. And their precedent was all legal shipments too.

    This reminds me of the thousands (I'm not kidding) of clams that F&W has killed by delaying shipments of AQUACULTURED clams because the import docs did not list the gravel(!) that was stuck under the clamshell (farmers use local aggregate to sometimes grow baby clams).

    This is beurocracy folks... not poaching. Caribsea is a good company... please give them a break.

    (and for my name/personality... let me state that I have never taken so much as a free sample at a tradeshow or otherwise from this company. My opinion here is unbiased)
    ><((((

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