Fish Health Inspectorate

We inspect fish and shellfish farms and investigate serious outbreaks of disease in both farms and the wild in England and Wales.

By helping to maintain the health of the fish and shellfish in England and Wales, we improve businesses’ ability to trade openly outside the UK, reduce their losses from disease and help protect a valuable natural resource.

Who we are

We are a Customer Service Excellent Standard accredited team based at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) laboratory in Weymouth, Dorset. Dr Kevin Denham, who joined FHI in 1991, was appointed Head of the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) on 1 May 2008 and the inspectorate reports to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for preventing the introduction and spread of serious diseases in fish, shellfish and crustacea by:

  • managing programmes that monitor the health of fish, shellfish and crustacea
  • taking steps to treat and reduce the spread of diseases
  • assessing the outbreak, spread and impact of diseases
  • investigating unexplained deaths in fish and shellfish
  • advising on ways to reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases

Disease status of fish, shellfish and crustacea in England and Wales

Great Britain has a high health status with regard to fish, mollusc and crustacean diseases. The listed diseases are detailed in Part II, Annex IV of Directive 2006/88/EC and Schedule 1 of The Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009.

For the disease status of England and Wales or the latest reported confirmed disease outbreaks in England and Wales.

Our forms, guidance and publications

We publish press releases and policy changes which affect the aquaculture industry.

We publish application forms and guidance on aquatic health and movements.

We publish our obligations under the Regulator’s Code and our statement of non-qualifying regulatory provisions - including our enforcement strategy - and 2 public registers:

We publish a service charter and report quarterly (also available are reports for 2018, 2017, 2016 on our activities and performance against these standards.

Our priorities

In 2020, our priorities will be to:

  • ensure operational preparedness across the FHI to facilitate future trading arrangements
  • support Defra in negotiations on trade agreements with the EU and other countries, in relation to live aquatic animals
  • provide advice to industry on changes in trading rules, to minimise disruption while maintaining safe trade
  • provide technical advice on implementing Regulations under the EU Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429) and advise Defra on the transformation of UK aquatic animal health legislation, in order to protect and improve legislative provisions
  • undertake a comprehensive revision of the FHI operational contingency and emergency response procedures and resources for serious (exotic) disease outbreaks in aquatic animals
  • promote the electronic live fish movements web service across the aquaculture sector in England and Wales



Telephone: 01305 206700

Monday to Thursday - 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4:30 pm

Fish Health Inspectorate
Barrack Road
The Nothe