Watch Out For Illegal Aquatic Species

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Watch out for illegal aquatic species
23rd March 2019

By Sandra Pearce

The Fish Health Inspectorate has said that recent imports have included a number of illegal ornamental aquatic species that cannot be kept or sold in the UK.

A spokesperson for the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association said: “We need to remind importers, wholesalers, retailers and keepers that the only crayfish (lobster) that can be kept in England and Wales only is Cherax quadricarinatus. No live ornamental crayfish/lobsters can be sold or kept in Scotland.”

Hybrid (spotted) gars have also been picked up in import consignments, which again have had to be seized – only specimens of pure-bred Florida and Cuban gars can be imported into the England and Wales. Hybrid gars are illegal.

The spokesperson added: “It is vital for the reputation of our industry that importers and retailers who import directly know what you can sell, that you check consignment contents with your overseas suppliers and ensure those suppliers label boxes correctly.

“If any of these species has reached you, you must also be alerting any customers who may have bought these animals that they cannot keep them.”

Fish Health Inspectorate is on high alert for these illegal species, along with colleagues in Border Inspection Posts, and, ‘having warned the industry about this, transgressors can expect them to take action on future illegal imports’.

More information can be found at https://ornamentalfish.org/wp-content/uploads/Crayfish-Red-Claw-Identification-A4-002.pdf