Restaurants and food markets

Important partners in helping to prevent invasive species introductions

Invasive species cause recreational, economic and ecological damage—changing how residents and visitors use and enjoy Minnesota waters. Businesses in the live plant and animal trades can take these actions to protect Minnesota waters from new introductions of invasive species.

Purchasing live organisms for consumption? Visit our responsible buyers page.

Ensure your business does not buy or sell prohibited invasive species

The following prohibited invasive animals have been documented in the food trade and are illegal to possess or sell in Minnesota, whether they are alive or dead (e.g., frozen or otherwise processed). Additional species that are illegal to possess and sell include all Minnesota prohibited invasive species, state and federal noxious weeds and federally-listed injurious wildlife. It is also illegal to import any species of live crayfish or crayfish eggs without a permit.

The DNR is pursuing prohibited status for species marked with an asterisk (*), though these species are not yet prohibited.

  • Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
  • Chinese mittencrab* (Eriocheir sinensis)
  • Crucian carp (Carassius carassius)
  • Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
  • Nile perch* (Lates niloticus)
  • Northern snakehead (Channa argus)
  • Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)
  • Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • Tench* (Tinca tinca)
  • Unspecified snakehead species* (Channa and Parachanna spp.)
  • Walking catfish* (Clarias batrachus)
  • Wels catfish (Silurus glanis)
  • White perch (Morone americana)
  • Yabby (Cherax destructor)
  • Zander (Sander lucioperca)

Remind your customers not to release non-native organisms into the environment

Some seafood products are kept alive for freshness when sold to customers. It is illegal to release most non-native animals and plants into a free-living state in Minnesota. If you are selling live seafood, remind your customers not to release non-native organisms into the environment.

Related Links

Sign up for our Food Business email list

Sign up for the DNR’s email list specifically for food-related businesses to stay up-to-date on new information, resources, and changes in regulations related to invasive species.


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