Our main objective is to prevent the introduction and spread of listed and emerging fish and shellfish diseases in Scotland. We do this by undertaking statutory inspection and sampling programmes, providing advice to stakeholders and implementing regulatory functions in accordance with the current aquaculture and aquatic animals health regulations. Read the Fish Health Inspectorate Service Charter.
The advice and regulation we provide is backed by high quality research and is delivered with wider collaboration within Marine Scotland, when and where necessary.
- preventing the introduction and spread of listed and emerging fish and shellfish diseases in Scotland
- minimising and preventing the spread of disease through biosecurity and disinfection
- restricting the movement of fish and shellfish if a notifiable disease is suspected
- authorising and registering aquaculture business in Scotland
- ensuring that early detection of disease is possible through a surveillance programme
- making sure that any escape from a fish farm is reported
- controlling the import and export of fish and shellfish to prevent the spread of disease
Fish health inspectors are appointed by the Scottish Ministers to act as inspectors under the aquaculture and aquatic animal health regulations.
Wherever possible, inspectors will advise and assist in compliance with the regulations.
Fish health inspectors carry out inspection and testing of fish and shellfish farms to:
- maintain the status of Great Britain as an approved zone for various diseases of fish and shellfish
- prevent the introduction of Gyrodactylus salaris and other diseases
- ensure the Scottish aquaculture industry continue to demonstrate satisfactory measures are in place for the prevention, control and reduction of sea lice on farm sites
- ensure the Scottish aquaculture industry continue to demonstrate satisfactory measures are in place for the containment of aquaculture animals
- undertake sampling for veterinary medicines residue testing on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Bills and legislation
The majority of the Fish Health Inspectorate's work is carried out under the following legislation concerning Aquaculture and Aquatic Animal Health:
- The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 detail animal health requirements for Aquatic animals and products thereof and the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals in Scotland.
- The Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007 and associated secondary legislation, The Fish Farming Businesses (Record Keeping) (Scotland) Order 2008 and The Fish Farming Business (Reporting) (Scotland) Order 2020
- Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013
- The Alien and Locally Absent Species in Aquaculture (Scotland) Regulations 2015 provide a safeguard against the potential for adverse environmental effects associated with the introduction and movement of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture, and consist largely of mitigation measures to provide these safeguards. Aquaculture operators intending to undertake the introduction of alien species or the translocation of a locally absent species must apply for permission as required by the Regulations. Alien and locally absent species in aquaculture, register of closed facilities.
Telephone: +44 (0) 131 244 3498
Fish Health Inspectorate
375 Victoria Road
If an urgent matter related to the issues listed above arises outside normal office hours, you can telephone the On Call Inspector for assistance on +44 (0)131 244 1833.