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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Report a pest, disease or fish kill

Aquatic pests and diseases can pose economic, social, cultural, human health and environmental impacts. They can arrive in Western Australia in various ways. Once well established, they are virtually impossible to eradicate. To increase the chances of a timely response and eradication, early detection is essential.

Aquatic biosecurity is a shared responsibility. You can play an important part by reporting anything unusual you have seen or found, including a fish kill (large numbers of dead fish in the aquatic environment), which can be a sign of disease. 

Report an aquatic pest

If you think you have seen or found an aquatic pest: 

1. Photograph it

  • Photograph it as soon as possible and before preserving or refrigeration.
  • Photograph the entire sample undisturbed and include surroundings.
  • Photograph the sample close up; use an object for scale – ruler, coin, thumb.
  • Use a neutral non-reflective background.
2. Record it
  • Location.
  • Season.
  • Size – use object for scale.
  • Colour.
  • Water depth where found.
  • Environment (beach, sand, rock pools, in weed, on water, river, attached to structure).
  • GPS reading if possible.

3. Collect it

  • Carefully collect a sample or samples, of different sizes.
  • Store the sample/s in a zip-lock plastic bag or plastic container.
  • Complete a label with a pencil (date, collector’s name, location, other records as above).
  • Place the sample in an Eski or fridge. DO NOT FREEZE it (unless there is no other way to preserve it).

For further advice about the best ways to preserve samples for analysis, contact our Biosecurity Research branch on (08) 9203 0111. 

4. Report it

Please report it to us through any of the following:

Note: You should never release non-native species into the wild. Fish tanks and ornamental ponds should be designed so fish can’t escape. Unwanted aquatic fish and plants should be taken back to suppliers or disposed of humanely. To dispose of fish humanely, visit the RSPCA website and search using the term ‘humanely euthanase fish’.

Report an aquatic disease

If you see any evidence of any fish diseases, or unexplained deaths in cultured or wild fish, please report it to our Fish Health Laboratories as soon as possible through any of the following:

  • FishWatch on 1800 815 507
  • WA aquaculture licence holders should report via the WA aquaculture hotline, as per their aquaculture licence conditions

Report a fish kill

If you see a fish kill please report it immediately through any of the following:

Last modified: 17/06/2022 3:16 PM

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