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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Aquatic animal health

Our aquatic animal health unit provides a range of services to investigate the health problems of wild and farmed fish stocks, including ‘fish kills’ in which a large number of fish suddenly die. The unit also provides a disease diagnostic service to support WA’s aquaculture and pearling industries.

People in general are encouraged to contact their local veterinarian in the case of aquatic animal health issues with fish they own, as this service is not provided by the aquatic animal health unit.

The unit is one of only two Network of Aquaculture Centres/United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisations regional resource centres for fish health in the Asia-Pacific area that are located in Australia. Its specialist expertise is in the health of mollusc species.

Research is regularly undertaken to identify the disease-causing organisms and infections that can affect aquaculture and pearling. These projects are often managed in collaboration with external researchers and industry.

Our experts in aquatic animal health advise on the development of policy guidelines and regulations, the movements of fish stocks and quarantine requirements. They also provide training to a range of other government bodies covering the necessary course of action in the event of a fish kill occurring in their region or area of responsibility. This includes collecting key data and samples to allow a thorough investigation into the cause of the fish kill.

Alongside issues for fish health, people who work with fish may also be at risk of diseases and issues surrounding marine biotoxins.

Further information is also available on:

For further information contact the Fish Health Laboratories.

Send samples for diagnosis to:

Fish Health Laboratories
c/o Animal Health Laboratory
Department of Agriculture and Food
3 Baron-Hay Court
SOUTH PERTH WA 6151

Send post to:
Fish Health Laboratories
Department of Fisheries
PO Box 20 NORTH BEACH WA 6920

Last modified: 25/07/2012 1:45 PM

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The information and advice provided by the Department of Fisheries website is made in good faith and is from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of release onto the website. Changes in circumstances after a document is placed on the website may affect the accuracy of the information. Full disclaimer details are available at www.fish.wa.gov.au.