It looks like our industry is heading towards another aquatic plan ban, thanks to the EU Invasive Alien Species regulation.
This time it’s Pistia stratiotes (Water lettuce), Salvinia molesta (Giant Salvinia) & Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Senegal tea plant), along with a fish species Plotosus lineatus (Striped Eel Catfish) which is under threat.
We have made the case for a regional approach to these species so that those European countries where they pose no invasive risks could continue to sell them within certain boundaries.
But it seems unlikely that the EU will accept this compromise, despite the fact that the legislation does allow for this. We are now waiting for a final decision at a meeting scheduled to take place in mid-December.
Unfortunately the UK’s planned exit from the European Union will have no effect on this although we will continue to ask Defra to review these restrictions once the UK has fully exited the EU.
You will see these submissions have been put in on behalf of the European Pet Organization (EPO) and Ornamental Fish International (OFI) and OATA is a member of both these bodies. We see our membership of these as important ways to continue to try to influence discussions as and after the UK has left the Union.