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Importing Ornamental Fish - General Information

Importing Ornamental Fish image


If you are importing ornamental aquatic animals either for commercial purposes or personal use you must first register with the Marine Institute as an Ornamental Importer. Once you receive confirmation of your Registration as an Ornamental Importer, you may also be issued with a Username and Password so you may apply on-line to Import Ornamental Species if  necessary. 


General Import Requirements

All importers must ensure that the import, sale or supply of aquatic animals does not present a risk to the health of those animals or the health of another aquatic animal. 

All consignments of listed species must be accompanied by an appropriate health certificate stating that the animal is free of any listed diseases relevant to the species being imported, if Ireland has been declared free of that disease.

All commercial imports of aquatic animals for ornamental purposes must be notified to the Marine Institute at least 24 hours in advance of departure from the site of origin. The only exception to this is consignments of non-listed species which originate in another EU member state.

Please click the links below for further information on:

Countries to import from 

Aquatic Diseases 

Health Certification Requirements 

Importing Non-Listed Aquatic Species

Ornamental Imports - Frequently Asked Questions


Importing Ornamental Crayfish - Prohibited Species

Please note that, since18th September 2018, it is illegal to import, keep, breed, transport, sell, exchange, or release to the environment the following species of freshwater Crayfish:

Common Name Scientific Name
Spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus
Virile crayfish Orconectes virilis
Signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus
Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii
Marbled crayfish Procambarus fallax f. virginalis

The European Union (Invasive Alien Species) (Freshwater Crayfish) Regulations 2018 (SI 354/18) came into force on 18 September 2018. The new measures are designed to combat the threat of disease from several species of non-native crayfish.

Throughout Europe, the white-clawed crayfish has been decimated by a disease called Crayfish plague. This disease spread to Europe with the introduction of North American species of crayfish, which are resistant to crayfish plague but can act as carriers of the disease.

These regulations empower Irish authorities to prevent the arrival and spread of these five non-native species of crayfish included on the EU list of invasive alien species.