Selling live non-native aquatic organisms in Michigan
ALERT: Invasive zebra mussels found in aquarium moss balls across the U.S. - Aquatic organism sellers urged to check stock immediately. Use the above link for more information.
Pet shops, nurseries and other businesses or hobbyists selling live, non-native aquatic species must register annually with the DNR. The requirement comes as part of legislation that amended Sec. 41329 of Act 451, P.A. 1994, effective Mar. 21, 2019.
A separate registration is required for each location of sale. Anyone selling at trade shows must register separately for each sale event.
A confirmation number is provided for each registration. The seller is required to retain and conspicuously post the confirmation number at the sale location as proof of registration.
Registration expires on Dec. 31 of the issuing year and must be updated each year.
Who needs to register?
- Wholesale vendors.
- Retail vendors and shops.
- Water garden shops and nurseries.
Exemptions to the registration requirement include:
- Activities authorized under the Michigan Aquaculture Development Act.
- Activities authorized under Part 459 of NREPA (Propagation of game fish in private waters).
- The sale (or offering for sale) of aquatic species, other than prohibited species or restricted species, for human consumption.
- The one-time sale (or offering for sale) of aquatic species if it involves 20 or less organisms of a single species.
A person or entity required to register to sell live, nonnative aquatic species must also report sale information to the DNR. The seller's registration confirmation number will be needed for reporting.
Registrants are required to report the name and number of individuals of each aquatic species sold using the online reporting form. 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.
The 2019 report should include species sold between Mar. 21, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2019. For future years, the report should cover sales from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
Required notification for trade shows, auctions or sales events
If you are hosting an event where live, non-native aquatic organisms will be sold or auctioned, you must notify the DNR at least 10 days before the event by using the form below.
Regarding registration requirements as described above, if all sales transactions are handled by the auction host and sale proceeds go to the host, not the donors, then individual club members or auction members are not required to register.
If individuals are selling organisms and handling the sales transactions at the auction, these individuals will have to register themselves, and the "Business Location" when registering will be the address where the auction is occurring.
What is the DNR doing with this information?
Live non-native organisms, if released into the environment, have the potential to become invasive. This information is helping the DNR track which species are being sold in the state of Michigan. By tracking which species are being sold, the DNR can increase awareness of future potential invaders that could harm Michigan's environment or economy.