Fish Health Inspectorate

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

By helping to maintain the health of the UK’s fish and shellfish, 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. 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

Our forms, guidance and publications

We publish press releases of the latest disease outbreaks 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 - including our enforcement strategy - and 2 public registers:

We publish a service charter and report quarterly (also available are reports for 2016, 2015 and 2014) on our activities and performance against these standards.

Our priorities

In 2017, our priorities will be to:

  • further develop the Starfish database to include diagnostic services, and send disease outbreak alerts to registered users
  • contribute to the new EU Animal Health Regulations and provide support to Defra during the exit of the UK from the European Union



Telephone: 01305 206700

Fish Health Inspectorate
Barrack Road
The Nothe