Legislation and regulations

The Fisheries Management Act 1994 and associated regulations provide a number of controls to help NSW DPI manage aquatic pests and diseases, including:

Noxious species

A number of species have been declared as noxious fish or noxious marine vegetation in NSW. There are 3 classes of noxious fish or marine vegetation, and different rules apply to each. Although some of these species can still legally be kept in NSW, NSW DPI discourages their use wherever possible.

In addition to the currently listed noxious fish and marine vegetation, there are restricted species which cannot be imported live into NSW without a specific permit.

Importation of live fish

NSW DPI maintains a list of fish species which cannot be imported live into NSW without a specific permit. These are species which have been identified as potentially posing a significant threat to native wildlife, ecosystems, human health or the State's aquaculture industries.

Fishing closures

NSW DPI implements fishing closures for many different reasons, including protection of fish stocks or vulnerable habitats. Fishing closures can also be used to help limit the spread of pests, weeds and diseases.

At present fishing closures are in place in various areas affected by the invasive marine weed Caulerpa taxifolia. There are also a number of fishing closures in place for declared diseases (see below).

Declared diseases

A list of 'declared diseases' is contained in Schedule 6B of the Fisheries Management Act 1994. NSW DPI must be notified if a declared disease is suspected in any fish, captive or wild, in NSW. There are also offences for transmitting these diseases to live organisms, selling infected animals or vegetation or depositing infected animals or vegetation in any water.

Quarantine areas

Where a declared disease occurs or is suspected, the Minister can declare a quarantine area. Such orders can have specific provisions, such as prohibiting collection of fish or marine vegetation, or requiring an aquaculture permit holder to take certain actions.