Movement restrictions on fish and shellfish

If there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that any inland or marine waters are or may become infected with a notifiable disease, the Scottish Minsters may designate those waters in order to prevent the spread of disease.

Restricting movements of aquatic animals is a vital measure in controlling the spread of disease. The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (‘the Regulations’) transpose Council Directive 2006/88/EC into Scottish law and part 4 of these Regulations details the controls in place regarding the notification and control of disease outbreaks.

There are three types of movement restriction that can be placed under the Regulations. They are:

Confirmed Designation Notices

Confirmed Designation Notices (CDNs) are served:

  • when the presence of a notifiable disease is confirmed in samples taken from a site

CDNs are made under regulation 28 of The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and designate an area that it considers appropriate to prevent or limit the spread of a confirmed listed disease or emerging disease that is present. 

All active CDNs are published and maps of these restrictions are also available.

Initial Designation Notices

Initial Designation Notices (IDNs) are served:

  • when there is sufficient evidence to suspect the presence of a notifiable disease on a site
  • when there is sufficient evidence to suspect that the farm may become infected with a notifiable disease

Staff Prohibition Notices

Staff Prohibition Notices (SPNs) are served;

  • when the presence of a notifiable disease is confirmed in samples taken from a site, and
  • there is a requirement to control the movement of people into and out of the controlled area.

Moving fish under restrictions

Fish farmers whose sites are subject to movement restrictions (Initial Designation Notice or Confirmed Designation Notice) must request permission to;

  • move any aquatic animal into or out of the designated area. This includes the movement of live and dead fish off site for harvest.
  • dispose of any dead aquatic animal which comes from that area
  • move any equipment, material or substance liable to transmit disease into or out of that area or any part of that area
  • move any means of transport liable to transmit disease into or out of that area or any part of that area

Not all restrictions will control all the movements detailed above. Please refer to each individual notice for details of the restrictions applied.

In addition to these restrictions a Staff Prohibition Notice may be served under Section 28 of The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations. It restricts the movement of any person from entering any confirmed designation area unless consented in the notice.

Permission to move fish covered by restrictions can be sought by completion of an application form which should be sent to the Fish Health Inspectorate Duty Inspector by  e-mail or post: contact details can be found on the main FHI page. Permission to move equipment or have personnel added to a Staff Prohibition Notice can also be sought by emailing the Duty Inspector. Applications should be received at least two weeks prior to the proposed date of movement.