Fish Health Inspectorate has alerted us to recent imports of a number of illegal ornamental aquatic species that cannot be kept or sold in the UK.

We therefore 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.

This handy identification guide will help to make sure you sell only the right species.

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.

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.

FHI are on high alert for these illegal species, along with their colleagues in Border Inspection Posts, and, having warned the industry about this, transgressors can expect them to take action on future illegal imports.

Find out more about  the range of ornamental species that can and cannot be sold in the UK.

Here is a link to the Import of Live Fish Act list which outlines those freshwater species that can be sold in England and Wales to remind yourself. If a species is not on that list that it cannot be sold in England and Wales.

Here is the link to the relevant information for Scotland.

If you see examples of these illegal species for sale on line please take screen shots and information about the seller and report them to FHI.