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Calif. Woman Pleads Guilty to Selling Endangered Sea Turtle Guitar Picks

A hawksbill sea turtle, an endangered species

A hawksbill sea turtle, an endangered species

By Brian Schott
ticklethewire.com
China has a well-known taste for trading in strange and exotic animal parts. Bear bile. Rhinoceros horn. But endangered sea turtle guitar picks?

Qing Song, a Santa Rosa, Calif., woman, pleaded guilty Wednesday in San Francisco federal court  to violating the Lacey Act by importing from China guitar picks and turtle shells of the hawksbill sea turtle.

Song admitted to selling just 50 of the offending plectrums,  but was found in possession of 900 of them when authorities got wind of her unusual business, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Hawksbill sea turtles are one of seven sea turtle species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act or international treaty, according to the release. Hawksbills are rated as critically endangered – one step above being considered extinct in the wild, according to the World Conservation Union’s rankings of endangered species.

Right after pleading guilty, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer sentenced Song to  10 months of home confinement and a $2,000 fine. She also received received three years probation and was ordered not to sell sea turtle parts, including guitar picks or instruments made of sea turtles, according to the release.


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Pingback from Daily News About the Sea : A few links about the Sea – Friday, 08 May 2009 21:57
Time May 9, 2009 at 2:38 am

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