Ireland maintains an excellent health status in relation to the fish/shellfish on farms, in rivers and in lakes and remains free of many diseases that occur in other countries. An introduction to Animal Health Legislation together with an overview of Ireland's fish health status, and the key requirements of fish health regulations in Ireland is outlined below.
Introduction to Animal Health Legislation
Fish health is protected by EU Animal Health Regulation 2016/429 which lays down rules for the prevention and control of animal diseases which are transmissible to animals or humans.
The regulation defines diseases by categories ranging from category A to category E diseases. A synopsis of listed and notifiable diseases, their susceptible and vector species, and Ireland's current health status in relation to each disease can be downloaded here.
Animal Health Legislation in Ireland in relation to aquatic animal health is implemented by the Marine Institute as the Competent Authority.
Ireland's Fish Health Status
Ireland is currently classified as free from the following diseases:
- Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA)
- Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS)
- Infectious Haematopoetic Necrosis (IHN)
- Koi Herpes Virus (KHV)
- Marteilia refringens
- Bonamia ostreae (PDF, 256Kb) in certain bays only
Ireland is also free from other significant diseases falling within approved national measures:
- Gyrodactylus Salaris,
- Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC)
- Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD)
These diseases are not listed in the EU Animal Health Regulation but Ireland is protected by additional guarantees under Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/260.
Species which are susceptible to any of the diseases listed above can only be imported to Ireland from countries or areas that are also free from these diseases.
Fish health and related diseases is monitored by the Marine Institute which is the National Reference Laboratory for aquatic disease in Ireland.
Key Features of Animal Health Regulation in Ireland in Relation to Fish Health
- All aquaculture establishments must obtain Fish Health Approval from the Marine Institute.
- A public register of authorised finfish, mollusc and crustacean aquaculture production business has been created.
- Requirements apply when transporting aquaculture animals and a register of specialist transporters of aquaculture animals has been published.
- Requirement apply when operating a put&take fishery and a register of these establishments has been created.
- Risk-based fish health surveillance programme is carried out by the Marine Institute.
- Importers of ornamental or pet fish must register with the Marine Institute and provide advance notice of any imports