Beel den Stormer Presents the Only Fishery Blog You Need

Fish, Fisheries and Queryomics

Florida Couple Busted for Selling Shark Pups

nurse shark pup

Newborn nurse shark pup.  Photograph by Wes Pratt, Mote Center for Shark Research (photo source)

They’re so adorable, says Beel!  Who would be involved in illegal sales of such cuties?

According to a story on a Federal Grand Jury handed down a sealed indictment last November against two Florida residents, Walter R. Bloecker and Lila M. Bloecker, and their aquarium-supply business for conducting a black-market trade in small sharks and big angelfish from the Florida Keys, USA.

The indictment, released earlier this month, charges that the Bloeckers knowingly sold 10 young nurse sharks that were taken without required federal permits to deal in sharks.

The indictment alleges that Walter Bloecker also offered the buyer several ‘monster’ angelfish, larger than the maximum size limit of 8 inches for the species.  Seven angelfish were sold, court papers say.

Both Lila Bloecker and Walter Bloecker could face up to five years in prison on each of three counts- a total of 15 years- if convicted.  Their business, Aquatic Trading Co., could be fined up to $500,000.

In all, the Bloecker and Aquarium Trading paid a collector $1,085 for 17 fish that were then sold to a Michigan buyer for $3,700.

Media attempts to contact the Bloeckers through Aquatic Trading were not successful.  What a surprise, says Beel.  Suppose they’re off on an extended holiday?

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This entry was posted on February 25, 2013 by in Commentary, Conservation and tagged , , .
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