Here’s a pro tip, don’t transport corals in a Pringles can, either to smuggle them or like ever. A grand Jury is indicting several persons and companies for alleged smuggling of wild corals, both into and out of the United States.
One case involves some dubious paperwork regarding corals originating from Vietnam, which seemed like it may be opening up to coral collections several years ago, but which has already resulted in one big bust in the United Kingdom. It’s always hard to get coral exports started in a new country so this case might have been a mixup of legalese and paperwork.
But one of the other cases is hard to misread; one of the indicted men packed corals into Pringles cans and then placed these in his mother’s luggage, not even his own! We just can’t help but chuckle at the sight of customs officials lifting up the Pringles cans to discover they weighed significantly more than potato chips ever should.
It’s important to note that when these cases get reported by ‘mainstream media’ they often use a generous helping of hyperbole to describe these alleged crimes. Despite a few bad apples and some run-ins with the law, the marine aquarium trade is highly self-regulating and real, egregious smuggling of live coral is incredibly rare. [U.S. DOJ]