Guidance

Report serious fish or shellfish diseases

Serious or notifiable diseases, reporting them to the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI), investigations and how to prevent further outbreaks.

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 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 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

Notifiable fish and shellfish diseases

Fish

Notifiable fish diseases are:

  • bacterial kidney disease (BKD)
  • epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN)
  • Gyrodactylus salaris (GS)
  • infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN)
  • infectious salmon anaemia (ISA)
  • koi herpesvirus disease (KHV)
  • spring viraemia of carp (SVC)
  • viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS)

Find out about notifiable fish diseases, the species affected and how to spot the symptoms:

Notifiable fish diseases (PDF, 974KB, 18 pages)

Crustaceans

Notifiable crustacean diseases are:

  • Taura syndrome
  • yellow head disease
  • white spot disease

Molluscs

Notifiable mollusc diseases are infections with:

  • Bonamia exitiosa
  • Bonamia ostreae ― see the guide to Bonamiosis (PDF, 106KB, 2 pages)

  • Perkinsus marinus ― see the guide to Perkinsosis (PDF, 122KB, 4 pages)

  • Marteilia refringens ― see the guide to Marteiliosis (PDF, 120KB, 3 pages)

  • Microcytos mackini ― see the guide to Mikrocytosis (PDF, 89.4KB, 3 pages)

Disease investigations

If FHI suspects a notifiable disease:

  1. An initial designation notice (temporary notice) is issued to the site operator to prevent further spread of disease, while samples are collected and tests are carried out.
  2. If 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 is lifted when FHI is 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 takes a minimum of 4 years and any further disease means the programme has to be restarted

Prevent fish or shellfish disease

If you have a disease outbreak, FHI will advise you on how you can prevent an infection happening again.

Find out more about preventing fish or shellfish diseases.

Read the regulations

Serious fish and shellfish diseases are controlled by law under the Aquatic Animal Health Regulations.

Contact

Fish Health Inspectorate