When someone mentions “wildlife”, you may think of large and exotic animalsÂ but to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), corals, fish and larger animals are all the same. As of January 8, 2009, the USFWS has raised the inspection fees for all shipments of imported or exported wildlife. Designated ports will see the inspection fee increase from $55 to $87 per shipment (per box) and other ports will see the fee increase to $136! If that wasn’t enough, these fees will be incrementally raised by a few bucks each year until 2012. What’s the reasoning behind such a sharp rise? Well apparently the fee structure dates back to 1996 and with increased traffic and concern about security, the new fees are the only way the USFWS can afford to keep enough officers on staff. The rise in the fees may not seem like that much when it is spread over a hundred fish or dozens of corals per box but, when these costs are added at the very beginning of the (domestic) supply chain, you can be pretty certain that the price of fish and corals will be rising over the next several years. More expensive wild caught aquarium livestock bodes well for the future of captive raised fish and corals but come 2012, you’ll be wishing that you could get a flame angel for $79!