Animal welfare: Fish

Page last updated: Thursday, 22 March 2018 - 1:51pm

The Animal Welfare Act 2002 (AW Act) and its accompanying regulations provide the legal framework for ensuring that animals in Western Australia have appropriate standards of care.

Animals are defined by the AW Act as all live amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals other than humans and any prescribed invertebrates (none are prescribed), but does not extend to fish (as defined in the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 (FRMA)).

The definition of fish in the FRMA means an aquatic organism of any kind (whether alive or dead) and includes –

      (a) the eggs, spat, spawn, seeds, spores, fry, larva or other source of reproduction or        offspring of an aquatic organism; and

      (b) a part only of an aquatic organism (including the shell or tail); and

      (c) live rock and live sand,

but does not include aquatic mammals, aquatic reptiles, aquatic birds, amphibians or (except in relation to Part 3 and Division 1 of Part 11) pearl oysters.

The FRMA confers the power to regulate fish welfare. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is currently drafting regulations to give effect to the fish welfare protection provision of the FRMA. Additionally, Codes of Practice have been developed to guide fish welfare in the fishing, aquaculture and restaurant trade. If you would like to provide feedback on the content of this page, please fill out the form here.

Contact information

Rick Bryant
+61 (0)8 9368 3346

Further information on reporting animal cruelty is available.