Sellers of live, non-native aquatic species required to register and report sales

Contact: Lucas Nathan, 517-284-6235
Agency: Natural Resources

Do you sell live aquatic animals or plants in Michigan? State law now requires businesses and individuals offering live, non-native aquatic organisms for sale in Michigan to register annually with the Department of Natural Resources.

Registration can be completed in a few minutes online at Michigan.gov/SellAquatics. The registering seller will receive a confirmation number and can download a registration certificate. After recording the number on the certificate, it should be visibly posted at the selling location. Registration must be updated every year and expires Dec. 31 of the issuing year.

Who needs to register?

Aquatic seller logo

Anyone selling non-native aquatic plants or animals in Michigan must register, including:

  • Wholesale vendors.
  • Retail vendors and shops.
  • Hobbyists.
  • Water garden shops and nurseries.

Some activities, such as sales of aquatic species for human consumption, are exempt. Visit Michigan.gov/SellAquatics for more information.

Sales at multiple locations

Hobbyists and vendors who sell at different events throughout the year must register separately for each event location. Likewise, businesses operating through multiple storefronts must register each sales location separately and retain the appropriate certificate at each store.

Hosting a trade show?

All auctions, trade shows or events in Michigan offering aquatic species for sale must complete the trade show notification online form at least 10 days before the event. Trade show hosts are encouraged to remind sellers and auction donors to register with the DNR and have a registration certificate on hand at the sale.

Annual reporting

RIPPLE program aquarium

All registered sellers are required to report sale information to the DNR by March 31 of each year. The online reporting form requests the name (common and scientific) and number of individual aquatic species sold during the previous calendar year.

Some species are exempt from reporting; however, all sellers must submit a report regardless of the species sold. The form provides additional information on species exemptions.

If you were a registered seller in 2019, please complete your annual reports as soon as possible. The 2019 report should include species sold between March 21, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019.

For more information on registration and reporting requirements, visit Michigan.gov/SellAquatics.

Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.