Report an aquatic pest or disease

You can report suspected aquatic pests or diseases through one of the following:

For more information please contact the Aquatic Biosecurity team (02 4982 1232) or your local NSW DPI Fisheries office and ask to speak to a Fisheries Officer.

How to report aquatic pests

Early detection of aquatic pests is critical. Once a pest species has established in an area, it is very difficult, if not impossible to eradicate.

If you think you've seen a marine or freshwater pest, please take good quality digital photos and email them to us, or collect a sample of the organism (or both if possible).

  • If it's a fish or invertebrate, place it in a plastic bag and freeze it.
  • If it's a seaweed, take the piece(s) home and carefully dry them between two sheets of paper.
  • Report your suspicion!

For more information on aquatic pest species including information to help identify see:

For information on freshwater weeds see DPI Weeds.

How to report aquatic diseases

Unusual disease signs, or unexplained deaths in cultured or wild fish, should be reported immediately to NSW DPI, and the presence or suspected presence of a declared disease must by law be reported to a Fisheries Officer.

To report a suspected aquatic animal disease:

  • Take a high quality photo of the fish
  • Where possible collect a sample. Wrap the sample in a damp cloth or paper towel, place in a plastic bag and cover with ice or ice packs.
  • Contact DPI Aquatic Biosecurity and report  your suspicion.

For Aquaculture farms experiencing possible disease outbreaks please also see Disease management in aquaculture for detailed information on reporting.

How to report fish kills

A fish kill is "a sudden and unexpected mass mortality of wild or cultured fish". Fish kills can be very visible events that attract a lot of attention, often because they are perceived to be the result of pollution or contamination of the water. In fact, there are many causes of fish kills and they are often the result of natural events.

Fish kills in the wild should be reported to NSW DPI Fisheries Officers by phoning Fishers Watch Phoneline 1800 043 536

For more information, see Fish Kills in NSW.