USVI Jeweler Fined $1.8M for Using Black Coral

The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that Gem Manufacturing Inc. pleaded guilty to seven counts of violating the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act, which bans the import of illegally harvested wildlife and plants. The high-end jewelry manufacturer located in the U.S. Virgin Islands was ordered to forfeit thousands of pounds of protected black coral and pay a $1.8 million fine. The protected black coral can only be harvested for jewelry and other purposes if certain regulations are met under strict trade regulations.