It is important that we as a community are responsible as hobbyists. Recent threats include the white spot virus that has been found in prawns in Queensland and the possibility that the crayfish plague has been introduced to our country via exotic crays from North America that might host this fungus and that have immunity to it. For example entire crayfish populations in Europe have been decimated by this disease because only the North American crays have immunity.
It is well known that many in Australia keep and breed exotic shrimps and other creatures and in most cases this is not problematic but there are exceptions and so it is necessary that we have a handy resource on the forum that discusses this topic and provides relevant links. Australia has very strict quarantine laws; although we are allowed to keep and breed a number of different shrimps in Australia the importation of shrimp species not in the "suitable specimens for import" is extremely illegal and if you are caught you will almost certainly be handed a jail sentence.
Local fish shops will often freely take any unwanted animals (even sick ones) and there are always plenty of other hobbyists who will jump at the chance to take them as well.
Below are some simple rules that are universally applicable -
- 😠 Do not release any fish or invertebrate from your aquarium to nature regardless of whether it is native to the area or came from that exact place; this is because they may have acquired a disease or parasite in your aquarium/pond and you could do much more harm than good.
- 😠 Do not allow any of your aquarium water or other contents to enter stormwater drains or go anywhere that might find its' way into a body of water e.g. creek or lake etc. The Australian government advice is to dispose of your water down the sink/toilet.
- 😠 Do not bring exotic animals into the country unless they are on the approved specimens list (link is below).
- 😠 Do not collect wild specimens unless you have checked first that you are allowed to do so.
- 😠 Do humanely euthanise your animals if/when necessary. (link is at the end of the article).
- 😊 Do enjoy keeping aquariums and treat your animals and our natural environment with the respect they deserve.
Below are links to lists of noxious species and guides at a state and national level as well as links to RSPCA instructions for humane euthanisation
Instructions for safe disposal of aquarium contents and animals and general guide to aquatic diseases -
- Guidelines for management of exotic fish trade including list of specimens suitable for import - http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/exotics/exotic-fish-trade
- Guide / Intro: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/pests-diseases/freshwater-pests/ornamental-fish
- Full list of noxious species: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/pests-diseases/noxious-fish-and-marine-vegetation
- Guide / Intro: https://nt.gov.au/marine/for-all-harbour-and-boat-users/aquatic-pests-marine-and-freshwater/about-aquatic-pests-and-biosecurity
- List of aquatic pests: https://nt.gov.au/marine/for-all-harbour-and-boat-users/aquatic-pests-marine-and-freshwater/list-of-aquatic-pests
- Guide / Intro: http://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/aquatics/aquatic_pests
- Full list of noxious species: http://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/aquatics/aquatic_pests/noxious_fish_list
Tasmania has especially strict requirements regarding importation of live animals. The three links below contain lots of relevant information (Thanks to @jayc for finding these)
- Guide and list of noxious aquatic species: http://delwp.vic.gov.au/fishing-and-hunting/fisheries/marine-pests-and-diseases/noxious-aquatic-species-in-victoria
- Guide / Intro: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/pest-fish/noxious-fish
- Full list of aquatic pests(refer to schedule 1 part 4 through 6): https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/B/BiosecurityA14.pdf
- Guide / Intro: http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Sustainability-and-Environment/Aquatic-Biosecurity/Translocations-Moving-Live-Fish/Pages/Noxious-Banned-Fish.aspx
- Full list of noxious species and proposed additions list can be found here: http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Sustainability-and-Environment/Aquatic-Biosecurity/Translocations-Moving-Live-Fish/Pages/Noxious-Banned-Fish.aspx
News article reporting on an incident of illegal shrimp importation:
Euthanisation Key Points / Summary:
Not everyone can bring themselves to end the lives of their own animals but regardless; if you deem it necessary to end the life of any tank inhabitants and they are not a highly illegal specimen then please dp ask your local retailer first if they might be willing to try to save them for you. If this is not an option then please see below links.
Humane euthanisation of fish:
Humane euthanisation of crustaceans: