Help stop the spread of marine pests

Aquarium fish make great pets but if marine aquarium plants or animals are released into waterways there is potential for them to become serious pests. They may also spread disease.

If you are involved in the marine aquarium industry as a trader, breeder, retail outlet or hobbyist, you can play an important role in preventing the spread of marine pests.

Dispose of unwanted species correctly

Always return unwanted marine aquarium species to your local aquarium dealer for correct disposal.  Do not release them into local waterways or use them as live bait.

This includes live rock (live coral, live sand and coral rubble).  Live rock is colonised and burrowed​ into by various organisms, including bacteria, algae, sponges, worms, crabs, clams, snails, starfish and others. Any of these could establish viable pest populations in their new environment.

Similarly gravel and even the aquarium water should not be released into waterways as they may contain fish and snail eggs, larvae, plant fragments or diseases.

If released aquarium plants and fish survive in the wild and establish viable populations, they may be very difficult or even impossible to eradicate.

Import permitted species only

If you are planning to import marine aquarium species into Australia, check that it is included on the Live import list. Only species included on the list will be allowed through quarantine. You will also need an Import permit issued by the Department of Agriculture.

Comply with state and territory regulations

Check the laws relating to keeping, breeding and sale of aquarium species with your state authority  as requirements vary between states and territories.