Saturday, June 13, 2009
A small mom and pop operation this was not as Mr. Harrison recently confessed to selling "millions of Florida caught sharks fin" over the years. The trick is, in the state of Florida you need to report your catches and Mr. Harrison did not leading to a recent bust, arrest and guilty pleading this week.
According to the charges and other information presented in court, Harrison allegedly represented himself to be the nation's largest shark fin buyer, purchasing "millions" of shark fins since he had been in the business, beginning in 1989. According to the plea agreements, in
Finally, the plea agreements reveal that for almost four years Harrison processed shark fins by drying them on open air racks and/or tarpaulins laid on the ground, outdoors, on his property in
"Trafficking the fins of these shark species is not a harmless offense," said
"We will not tolerate the illegal harvest and sale of protected shark species whose populations continue to diminish in our oceans," said
The Lacey Act, enacted in 1900, is the first national wildlife law, and was passed to assist states in enforcing wildlife laws. It provides additional protection to fish, wildlife and plants that were taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of state, tribal, foreign or U.S. law.
Since 1993, the NOAA Fisheries Service has managed, via federal fishery management plans, the commercial harvest and sale of sharks in or from federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean,
"We are proud of the coordinated investigative work of our agents with their colleagues from NOAA, Office of Law Enforcement and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations," said
Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced on
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the NOAA Office for Law Enforcement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of
Editors Note: Huge kudos to all gov agencies involved.