Legislation, Regulations and Permitted Activities

The NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 and associated regulations provide a number of controls to help NSW DPI manage aquatic pests and diseases, including:

Prohibited matter

A number of species have been listed as Prohibitted Matter in Schedule 1 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. It is illegal to import, possess, sell or move these species live in NSW. Heavy penalties apply. A person has a duty no notify an Authorised officer if they suspect the presence of any of these species.

Notifiable matter

A number of species have been listed as Notifiable Matter in Schedule 2 of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017. It is illegal to possess, sell or move these species live in NSW. A person has a duty no notify an Authorised officer if they suspect the presence of any of these species.

In addition to the currently listed pest fish and marine vegetation, the Fisheries Management Act 1994 also includes some Legislation and Regulations that provide further controls, such as 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 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.

Notifiable diseases

NSW DPI must be notified if a notifiable disease is suspected in any fish, captive or wild, in NSW. It is also an offence to transmit these diseases to live organisms, selling infected animals or vegetation or depositing infected animals or vegetation in any water.

Biosecurity zones

Where listed disease or pest occurs or is suspected, the Secretary can declare a Biosecurity zone. 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.

Emergency Orders

During a biosecurity emergency, the Secretary can respond to that emergency with an Emergency Order. The objectives of these orders are to prevent the spread of the biosecurity matter, isolate a zone where the biosecurity matter may be, or where practicable, to eradicate the biosecurity matter. These objectives do not limit what may be provided for by an Emergency Order.