Fish Health Inspectorate has updated the Import of Live Fish Act list of permitted species which are now available to import and sell in England and Wales.

FHI is responsible for enforcing the Import of Live Fish Act (ILFA) and produce a list (the ILFA Ornamental Fish list) of freshwater fish genera which can be imported/traded/kept for ornamental purposes. Where not all members of a genus can be legally kept, this list will indicate either which species within a genus can be kept, or those which can not.

The updated ILFA list is available here. Anyone trading in freshwater fish should always check this list before they import or sell species, particularly new ones.

All importers, wholesalers, retailers and keepers are also reminded that:

  • Only pure bred Florida and Cuban gars are permitted to be imported into England and Wales. Importers need to be certain that such animals that they import are not misnamed or of hybrid form.
  • The import of non-native crayfish other than the redclaw (Cherax quadricarinatus) is prohibited, quadricarinatus is the only permitted species in England and Wales. No live ornamental crayfish/lobsters can be sold or kept in Scotland. The FHI have advised OATA that they have seen other crayfish species being labelled as C. quadricarinatus by suppliers. Importers therefore need to be careful to ensure they do not illegally import other species, given that imports of non-permitted species such as the Mexican dwarf crayfish (Cambarellus spp) and Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus carkii) have been found being imported under false names.

If importers have any doubt as to whether a species is a permitted species, they should contact the FHI before importing that species.

Please note that if the FHI believes there has been a deliberate attempt to import prohibited species, those importers could face prosecution or revocation of their authorisation to import. We advise all our members to ensure they are not importing restricted species by checking the updated ILFA list.

Anyone suspecting or with evidence that a business is trading in illegal species or trading from illegal sources is encouraged to report such instances to the FHI.