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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Blacklist bans ornamental fish species in Queensland

    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Blacklist bans ornamental fish species in Queensland

    24 June 2009

    Blacklist bans ornamental fish species in Queensland

    Aquarium owners should check their fish tanks and ponds because more than 70 species of ornamental fish will be banned in Queensland under changes to noxious fish legislation.

    The ban takes effect on 1 August 2009.

    People owning these soon-to-be banned fish can keep them – but only if they apply for a permit before August.

    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin today announced that fish species from 30 family groups would be added to the banned list.

    “Today I’m urging fish hobbyists to check their tanks for species about to be banned,” the Minister said.

    “This includes alligator gar, African pike, giant cichlid, squarehead catfish, the marble goby and silver carp.

    “The expansion of Queensland’s declared noxious fish list from 18 to more than 70 species means some ornamental fish species currently traded will be prohibited.

    “These changes have been made to protect our freshwater habitats and native fish stocks from these imported and invasive species.

    “If they were to be released into our waterways they would harm native species, damage the environment, and could severely impact on our freshwater recreational and commercial fisheries.

    “We’ve already got a battle on our hands trying to eradicate tilapia, one of the world’s most invasive fish species, from waterways around the State.

    “We don’t want a repeat.

    “Our studies show that if tilapia become established in the Gulf of Carpentaria Catchments, they could reduce yields in the commercial barramundi fishery by 20% - costing more than $2 million a year.

    Mr Mulherin said these legislative changes would bring Queensland into line with the National Noxious Fish List.

    “They will mainly affect hobbyists and the aquarium and aquaculture industries, and we have been working closely with these groups to provide options for fish owners and traders,” he said.

    “For people who currently own these species, provisions have been put in place for the fish to be surrendered, disposed of or kept under a permit.

    “Permits are free and allow people who currently possess a newly banned noxious fish to retain them, however owners cannot trade, sell, replace or breed these fish.

    “Noxious fish can also be voluntarily surrendered to Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPIF) for humane disposal, or QPIF can give advice to owners wishing to manage disposal themselves.

    “If people don’t surrender or dispose of noxious fish or seek permits by 1 August, they can be fined up to $200 000 if found with these fish in their possession.

    “I’m also reminding people that it is still an offence to possess or catch fish that are already declared noxious, such as tilapia, and penalties up to $200 000 also apply.”

    Permit applications must be submitted before 1 August 2009. For a list of Queensland’s noxious fish list or a permit application, contact Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries on 13 25 23 or visit

    Media: 3239 6530

    Fish species already declared noxious and therefore prohibited in Queensland

    Common name Scientific name
    Bluegill Lepomis spp. (Centrarchidae)
    Carp Cyprinus carpio (Cyprinidae)
    Chinese weatherfish, weatherloach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Cobitididae/Cobitidae)
    Climbing perch Anabas testudineus (Anabantidae)
    Electric eel Electrophorus electricus (Electrophoridae)
    Gambusia, mosquitofish Gambusia spp. (Poeciliidae)
    Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella (Cyprinidae)
    Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (Centrarchidae)
    Nile perch (live) Lates niloticus (Centropomidae)
    Parasitic catfish, pencil catfish, candiru catfish Family Trichomycteridae
    Pike cichlids Crenicichla spp. (Cichlidae)
    Piranhas, pacus Fish of the subfamily Serrasalminae (within family Characidae)— all species except Metynnis spp. and Myleus rubripinnis
    Snakeheads Channa spp. (Channidae)
    Tiger catfish Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum (Pimelodidae)
    Tigerfishes (African), pike characin Hydrocynus spp. (subfamily Hydrocyninae or Alestinae)
    Tigerfishes (South American), trahiras Erythrinus, Hoplerythrinus and Hoplias spp. (Erythrinidae)
    Tilapia Tilapia, Oreochromis and Sarotherodon spp. (Cichlidae)
    Walking catfish, airbreathing catfish Family Clariidae

    New additions to Queensland’s declared noxious fish list after 1 August 2009
    Common name Scientific name
    Aba aba Gymnarchus niloticus (Gymnarchidae)
    African butter catfish Schilbe mystus (Schilbeidae)
    African lungfish Protopterus annectens (Protopteridae)
    African pike Hepsetus odoe (Hepsetidae)
    African pike-characin, tubenose poacher, fin eater Species in the subfamily Ichthyborinae
    American gar, armoured gar, spotted gar, alligator gars Atractosteus spp. and Lepisosteus spp. (Lepisosteidae)
    Angler, frogmouth and squarehead catfishes Chaca chaca (Chacidae)
    Banded jewelfish Hemichromis fasciatus (Cichlidae)
    Banded or spotted sunfish Entire family Centrachidae
    Bighead carp Aristichthys nobilis (Cyprinidae)
    Bottlenose, cornish jack Mormyrops anguilloides (Mormyridae)
    Bowfin Amia calva (Amiidae)
    Brook stickleback Culaea inconstans (Gasterosteidae)
    Catla Catla catla (Cyprinidae)
    Chameleon goby, striped goby Tridentiger trigonocephalus (Gobiidae)
    Chinese swordfish Psephurus gladius (Polyodontidae)
    Copper mahseer Neolissochilus hexagonolepis (Cyprinidae)
    Electric catfish Malapterurus spp. (Malapteruridae)
    European catfish, wels catfish Silurus spp. (Siluridae)
    Flatnose catfish, dwarf giraffe catfish Anaspidoglanis macrostoma (Bagridae)
    Forktail lates Lates microlepis (Centropomidae)
    Fourspine stickleback Apeltes quadracus (Gasterosteidae)
    Freshwater minnow Zacco platypus (Cyprinidae)
    Giant barb Catlocarpio siamensis (Cyprinidae)
    Giant cichlid, yellow belly cichlid Boulengerochromis microlepis (Cichlidae)
    Marble goby Oxyeleotris marmorata (eleotridae)
    Mississippi paddlefish Polyodon spathula (Polyodontidae)
    Mrigal Cirrhinus cirrhosus (Cyprinidae)
    Ninespine stickleback Pungitius pungitius (Gasterosteidae)
    Orange fin labeo, rohu Labeo calbasu and L. rohita (Cyprinidae)
    Pike characin Acestrorhynchus microlepis (Acestrorhynchidae)
    Pike minnow, pike killifish Belonesox belizanus (Poeciliidae)
    Pikes Esox spp. (Esocidae)
    Pink, slender, greenwoods, mortimers, cunean and green happy Sargochromis spp. (Cichlidae)
    Purpleface largemouth Serranochromis spp. (Cichlidae)
    Pygmy sunfish Elassoma spp. (Elassomatidae)
    Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Cambaridae)
    Ripsaw catfish, black doras, black shielded catfish Oxydoras spp. (Doradidae)
    River carp, deccan, high backed, jungha, putitor, Thai mahseer Tor spp. (Cyprinidae)
    Shiners Notropis spp. (Cyprinidae)
    Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Cyprinidae)
    Snooks Centropomus spp. (Centropomidae)
    Southern redbelly dace Phoxinus erythrogaster (Cyprinidae)
    Stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis (Heteropneustidae)
    Ubangi shovelnose catfish Bagrus ubangensis (Bagridae)
    Valencia toothcarp Valencia hispanica (Valenciidae)
    Yellowfin goby Acanthogobius flavimanus (Gobiidae)