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Importing Ornamental Fish

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 will also be issued with a Username and Password so you may apply on-line to Import Ornamental Species


Advance Notification of Imports

All imports of aquatic animal for ornamental purposes must be notified to the Marine Institute at least 2 days in advance of departure from the site of origin. You must ensure that the import, sale or supply of that animal does not present a risk to the health of the animal or the health of another aquatic animal. The consignment must be accompanied by an appropriate health certificate issued for the purposes of Commission Regulation 1251/2008 stating that the animal is free of the diseases listed in Part II Annex IV to the directive and diseases for which Ireland has national measures granted under Commission Decision 2010/221/EU.

Please click on the links for further information on Countries to import from and Health Certification Requirements.


Importing Ornamental Crayfish

Please note that, effective 18th September 2018, it is now 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 new regulations will give Irish authorities the powers to prevent the arrival and spread of the five non-native species of crayfish included on the EU list of invasive alien species.