A 12-month joint Environment Canada and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources investigation dubbed Operation Serpent has led to jail time and fines for two defendants convicted of illegally exporting an invasive species of fish from Ontario to Manitoba.
A numbered company operating as Lucky Aquarium in Markham, Ont. and one of its employees, Muk Leung Ip of Toronto, pleaded guilty to the unlawful sale, exportation and inter-provincial transport of snakehead fish. One of the charges included illegal export of the fish to the United States.
Lucky Aquarium was ordered to pay a total of $75,030 in fines — plus charges associated with the publication of notices to warn of the dangers of the invasive fish species — and sentenced to two years of probation.
Ip was sentenced to two 60-day jail terms, to be served concurrently.
The charges were laid under the federal Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).