Ohio Woman In Big Trouble For Selling Crayfish

By Taylor Linzinmeir

May 17, 2022

Gavel In Court Room
Photo: Getty Images

An Ohio Woman has pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act by selling marbled crayfish, also known as self-cloning crayfish, in interstate commerce. The Lacey Act combats the illegal trafficking of wildlife, fish and plants.

Allison Spaulding, 46, sold marbled crayfish between August 2020 and June 2021 in 36 different states, according to the Department of Justice.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife added the marbled crayfish to the Ohio injurious aquatic invasive species list in January 2020. Marbled crayfish are considered a serious threat to biodiversity because of their high reproductive rate and the need for only a single individual to start a population.

“The Department of Justice is committed to preventing the spread of invasive species,” Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said. “Marbled crayfish pose a unique threat to America’s freshwater ecosystems, and the defendant’s sales had the potential to introduce this dangerous species throughout the country. Such conduct will be prosecuted and punished.”

Spaulding is scheduled to be sentenced in the coming months. She faces a maximum of one year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

Learn more information about the marbled crayfish and why it's so dangerous to biodiversity here.

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