The objective of this study was to employ the precautionary principle in import risk analysis (IRA) and quarantine in the trade of marine ornamental fishes (MOF). The analysis focused on the example of Brazil, as it imports and exports these fishes, in amounts that are globally significant. These processes, since their collection in nature, may expose the fish to stress, which may lead to the development of diseases. The legislation that regulates IRA and quarantine is derived from the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and Fisheries and Aquaculture. The quarantine of MOF in Brazil is not undertaken by government agencies, but by commercial establishments that are registered with the Ministries, and is way too short. According to the data obtained, the precautionary approach is not applied at all in this trade, as scientific information is not contemplated by the legislation, and law is not enforced.
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