Disease status of fish, shellfish and crustacean

Serious or notifiable diseases must be reported to the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI). The FHI investigate all reported mortalities in England and Wales.

If you suspect notifiable fish or shellfish disease

Serious fish or shellfish diseases are called ‘notifiable’ because you must immediately report that you suspect or know about them to the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI).

You must tell the FHI immediately if your fish or shellfish:

  • could be infected with a notifiable disease (you must report it even if you only suspect an infection)
  • are dying in larger numbers or more than normal
  • are affected by unusual deaths

If you know about or suspect a notifiable disease but don’t report it you could be fined up to £5,000

Disease status for England and Wales


Notifiable disease Disease status
Bacterial kidney disease (BKD) Not recognised as free. National controls for the disease only
Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN) Declared free
Gyrodactylus salaris (GS) Declared free
Infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) Declared free
Infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) Declared free
Koi herpesvirus disease (KHV) Undetermined
Spring viraemia of carp (SVC) Declared free
Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) Declared free


Notifiable disease Disease status
Taura syndrome Declared free
Yellow head disease Declared free
White spot disease Undetermined


Notifiable disease Disease status
Bonamia exitiosa Declared free
Bonamia ostreae Declared free except control areas Menai Strait, Lizard to Start Point, Portland Bill to Selsey Bill, North Foreland to Landguard Point and St Ann’s Head to Linney Head
Perkinsus marinus Declared free
Marteilia refringens Declared free except control area River Tamar
Mikrocytos mackini Declared free
Oyster herpesvirus Declared free except control areas Poole Harbour, River Teign Lee-over-sands to Port Richborough, ButleyCreek, and Essex, Kent and Suffolk,

Disease investigations

If FHI suspects a notifiable disease:

  1. An initial designation notice is issued to the site operator to prevent further spread of disease, while samples are collected and tests are carried out.
  2. If the disease isn’t found the initial designation notice is lifted immediately.
  3. If notifiable disease is confirmed, FHI issues a confirmed designation notice (a legal order restricting movements of aquatic animals into, out of and within the affected area).
  4. FHI supervises an immediate stock cull, site clearance and disinfection when required.
  5. Further controls may include restricting vehicle and equipment movement, restricting some site activities (like disposal of waste) and additional biosecurity measures (like using on-site disinfection facilities).
  6. The Confirmed Designation Notice can only be lifted when the FHI are satisfied that the disease is no longer present. This must involve one of the following:
  • FHI supervise a stock cull, site clearance and disinfection (this is the preferred option and happens whenever possible)
  • completion of a satisfactory monitoring and retest programme by FHI - this can be up to 4 years and any further disease means the programme has to be restarted

Outbreaks of fish and shellfish disease

For up to date confirmed disease outbreaks in England and Wales.

Read the regulations

Serious fish and shellfish diseases are controlled by law under the Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) Regulations 2009.


Fish Health Inspectorate


Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm 01305 206700

Published 16 May 2014
Last updated 13 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Two new designations listed

  2. Updated the disease listing

  3. This page has been reviewed to include England and Wales disease status.

  4. First published.