Seafood Company on Federal Probation for False Labeling

A Florida-based seafood company was sentenced in U.S. district court for falsely labeling salmon, a violation of federal law under the Lacey Act. UpRiver Aquaculture, also known as MKG Provisions, pled guilty to a charge of falsely labeling 286 cases of farmed salmon imported from Chile as a “product of Scotland.” The company was sentenced to three years of probation and a $50,000 fine. Plus, the probationary period will include oversight of the company’s compliance plan, required by the government, to prevent a recurrence of the offense.

The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for a person to falsely identify any fish that has been, or is intended to be, imported, sold, purchased, or received from any foreign country or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

This sentencing shows that laws are in place to penalize those who mislabel seafood products. The Assistant U.S. Attorney and the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement did not need new laws or regulations in order to investigate and ultimately convict MKG Provisions; continuing to illustrate that the key to stamping out fish fraud is in enforcement.

A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice detailing the charges and sentence can be found here.