We recognise that virtually every species we trade in is not native to the UK so our industry has a responsibility to educate our customers about the need not to release fish or plants into the wild. So all ornamental fish and aquatic plants should always remain within aquariums or ponds.
Coldwater fish have the potential to become invasive. We are naturally concerned about that risk but also for the welfare of the fish. Although it may appear to be a kind gesture, the release of any fish into the wild is cruel, since predation, starvation, cold or disease will most likely kill them. It is also against the law.
We have joined forces with REPTA to produce a Code of Practice for pet owners and traders to help encourage the responsible ownership of non-native pets. Find the Code of Practice below and we would encourage you to share it with your customers.
We are also keen supporters of the Be Plant Wise campaign. This initiative is aimed at getting people to think responsibly about disposing of invasive plants, particularly aquatic plants. Please support the campaign by displaying information and talking to customers when you sell aquatic plants.
Aquatic plants that cannot be sold in the UK:
- Water Fern (Azolla filiculoides) (How to ID Water Fern plant)
- Parrot’s Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) (How to ID Parrot’s Feather plant)
- Floating Pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) (How to ID Floating Pennywort plant)
- Australian swamp stone crop (New Zealand Pygmyweed) (Crassula helmsii) (How to ID New Zealand Pigmyweed plant)
- Water Primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora) (How to ID Water Primrose plant)
- Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
- Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana) (How to ID Cabomba)
- Curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major often inaccurately called Elodea crispa (How to ID Lagarosiphon)
- American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) (How to ID American Skunk Cabbage)
(The last four plants can be sold until August 2017 provided you can demonstrate you ordered the stock before 3 August 2016)
Animals/invertebrates that cannot be sold in the UK:
- Apple snails (Pomacea genus)
- Pond sliders (Trachemys scripta)
- Only one species of crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) can be sold in England and Wales. No live crayfish may be sold in Scotland.