Canadian company pleads guilty to importing rejected fish

October 19, 2019

SEATTLE (AP) — A Canadian seafood company has pleaded guilty to importing previously rejected fish into the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said Seven Seas Fish Company of Richmond, British Columbia, and its 78-year-old owner, John Heras, admitted that they sold more than 4 tons of potentially adulterated fish from Mexico in the U.S. — after it had already been rejected by the Food and Drug Administration once.

The company agreed to pay a $150,000 fine while Heras could face up to a year in prison when he’s sentenced in February.

Prosecutors said the FDA initially rejected the fish, a white fish called corvina, in 2014 because one-third of the samples were spoiled. Seven Seas then arranged for it to be shipped legally to its plant in Canada, and sold it back into the U.S., including in Washington state, without notifying U.S. Health and Human Services.

No illnesses have been linked to the sale of the fish in the U.S.