Illegal imports of arowanas into Singapore? Not worth the hassle …

Hi all,
Another interesting article about alleged illegal imports of arowanas. Just proves the stringent checks that the authorities in Singapore goes through to ensure that the farms in Singapore are not doing anything illegal. That’s the good thing about buying arowanas in Singapore… The chances are much higher that they are all legit and of the best quality..

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AVA investigates illegal import of arowana
Fish without the chips
Neo Chai Chin, Today Online 6 Oct 08;

THE Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is investigating the illegal import of 50 arowana fish, an endangered species, into Singapore last Thursday.

The fish, worth about $1,000 each, were discovered by AVA officers at its Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine Station at the Changi Air Freight Centre. They had been flown in from Kalimantan in Indonesia by a local breeding farm, Imperial Arowana.

The farm, at Lim Chu Kang, is owned by award-winning breeder Vincent Chong, who is being questioned by the AVA, which said that investigations are ongoing.

When contacted, Mr Chong said: ?There was an importing misunderstanding, that?s all. Basically, it?s not a big issue. There was some misunderstanding between Singapore and Indonesia.? He declined to provide further details.

The catching of wild arowana is prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites). Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, illegal traders can be fined up to $50,000 per specimen (or up to $500,000), jailed up to two years, or both. Singapore became a party to Cites in 1986.

According to its website, Imperial Arowana specialises in the export of Asian Arowana species like the Super Red and Xback, which are sourced from Cites-registered farms in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Recent advances have resulted in the breeding of the fish in captivity but they have to be micro-chipped as proof that they were not captured from the wild.

Asian arowana, prized for its brilliant gold and red-gold colours, are often kept by businessmen who believe that the fish brings good fortune. A top specimen can cost around $20,000, a breeder told Today.

There are over a dozen Cites-registered arowana breeding farms in the Lim Chu Kang area. Their operators inform the AVA when breeding pairs have spawned.

When each fish reaches six months of age, a microchip is embedded, in the presence of an AVA official.

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Do you have this problem in your respective countries? Do comment if you have any … Cheers!

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93 Responses to “Illegal imports of arowanas into Singapore? Not worth the hassle …”

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