Commend Conviction of Shark Thief


Target: U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez 

Goal: Thank judge for convicting a man who tried to steal sharks and sting rays out of the wild for his Idaho aquarium

The president of the Idaho aquarium, Ammon Covino, is sentenced to one year in federal prison for illegally taking sharks and sting rays from a Florida refuge. It all started because he decided that his aquarium needed more marine animals. Specifically, he wanted more lemon sharks and spotted eagle rays, so he found a place in Florida that could stock him with what he needed. Unfortunately, Covino did not have any of the legal paperwork and permits that would be needed to send the sharks from Florida to Idaho and put them in his aquarium. Even after warnings from the Florida supplier that he required the necessary paperwork, Covino went ahead with the illegal harvesting project.

What Covino didn’t realize was that the fish supplier he went to was working with legal authorities, and all of their conversations and message exchanges were being recorded. He was charged under the “Lacey Act,” which protects plants and wildlife from violations such as this one. Ammon Covino and his Idaho Aquarium have also run into other troubles as well. People have complained that his facilities are equipped with insufficient animal care and many other health hazards.

Covino was charged with marine life trafficking and sentenced to one year in prison. On top of that, after the one-year sentence Covino and his family are not allowed to have anything to do with the aquarium business anymore, and are barred from buying, selling, or trading wild animals.

Please sign this petition and thank the judge for protecting animals by putting the Covino family out of the aquarium business.


Dear  U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez,

Thank you for putting Ammon Covino in prison. He illegally stole sharks and sting rays from Florida and shipped them to his Idaho Aquarium without any permits, and he deserves the punishment he is getting. On top of that, thank you for banning him and his family from ever getting back into the aquarium business. Thank you for banning Covino from buying, selling, and trading wild animals.

Illegal trade in marine species must be brought to a stop, for the protection of all kinds of marine animals. With your help, animals that have been poorly treated in Covino’s aquarium can now have better lives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Zac Wolf via Wikimedia Commons

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467 Signatures

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