Fish peddler Yong Hao Wu has been charged with importing thousands of live snakehead fish—a crime in New York state, in case you've slacked off on studying your fish laws (don't feel ashamed; we've all been there).
Though it seems like none of God's creatures should ever be illegal, the snakehead fish is kind of a "troubled" animal—at least when it hangs out on American shores. Though chill when in China, its native land, in America it becomes "a rapidly reproducing predator with such a voracious appetite it can wipe out entire schools of fish and destroy an ecosystem," says the New York Times. Some have called the snakehead "Fishzilla" because of its "deadly" razor teeth, aggressive asshole mannerisms and oh, maybe its rather unfishlike walking capabilities?
Apparently, authorities seized 353 of these things on 2010 Chinese New Year's Eve and eventually found their way to Wu's Howei Trading company in Brooklyn, where they discovered 82 snakeheads swimming around in a tank:
The authorities said Mr. Wu had declared 3,889 imports as "Chinese black sleeper fish," but he later admitted that they were, in fact, snakeheads. If the freshwater fish escapes its tanks, or is intentionally released, it can slither to water on land for three days. It has been found in rivers and lakes across the country.
Can you imagine walking down some New York City street and bumping into an angry psycho fish? "Well hello, Mr. Fish! Ahh ahhh please stop biting me I'll buy you this pretzel if you just stop biting me wait a minute why are you walking, fish??!!? Owwwwww"
Wu—who the Times says has worked in a number of "fish-related businesses" over the years (fish selling, fish frying, fish grooming)—has been charged with "felony commercialization of wildlife and importing fish dangerous to indigenous fish populations," and now faces up to four years in prison. Was it all worth it, Mr. Wu? Maybe you don't want to answer that question right now. But perhaps some of you foodie types out there have tasted the snakehead fish and can chime in on its value. Supposedly it's so "sweet, meaty" and delectable, people will spend almost $40 on a bowl of soup that contains it. And as an added bonus, it might heal your wounds! Including wounds caused by biting snakehead fish, that you might encounter walking around your city or subdivision any minute now. Owwwwww.
[NYT; image via AP]