Penalties for Seafood Species Mislabeling

"Mislabeling" is a tricky situation, as "intent" is not required. "False labeling of wildlife transported in interstate commerce is also criminalized, regardless of intent. If the products have a market value of less than $350, false labeling is a 1 year/$100,000 misdemeanor, but if the value is greater than $350, the offender may be charged with another 5 year/$250,000 felony." (See: Aquaculture and the Lacey Act by Elizabeth R. Springsteen). For the purposes of mislabeling, many regulations require merely that the fish species being placed into commerce is misidentified and mislabeled as another species, even if the seller (or distributor) had no knowledge of the mislabeling. However, the liability faced by distributors does not end at regulatory compliance, see "Risks Faced by Distributors" for more information.


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