Aquaculture

General Information

Aquaculture species include (but are not limited to) fish, crustaceans, mollusks, reptiles, or amphibians reared or cultured under controlled conditions in an aquaculture facility.

A person shall not import aquaculture exhibiting clinical signs of disease.

Importing aquaculture from a hatchery or other facility with a record of experiencing an emergency fish disease (an infectious disease of fish not known to exist within the state) within the past two years is not allowed.  Some examples of these diseases:

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS), Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN), Epizootic Hematopoietic Necrosis (EHN), Cerataomyxosis, Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (HPR0 or HPR-deletion), White Sturgeon herpesvirus, White Sturgeon iridovirus, and Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD)

For a list of species that are unlawful to possess, introduce, import, sell, or offer for sale as a live organism, please visit the Michigan Invasive Species Prohibited and Restricted Species List.

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Coming into Michigan from Another State (Import)

A list of approved species for aquaculture production has been established. Only the species on this approved list can be imported for the purpose of aquaculture production. When these species are imported, the following conditions must be met: 

  1. Aquaculture must have an official interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) filled out by a USDA-accredited veterinarian in the animal’s state of origin.

Exception:  A Fish Disease Inspection Report or a Fish Health Certificate (FHC) can be used in place of a CVI and can be filled out by a certified Fish Health Official.

  1. Required testing: Aquaculture must test negative for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and the test chart must be provided.

Exception: Tilapia, Lake Sturgeon, Common Shiners and aquaculture going to food markets, and retail ornamental fish facilities do not require VHS testing.

All imported live baitfish and gamefish species and/or eggs destined for stocking of public waters must follow the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fish health testing guidance.

For more information, contact the DNR Fisheries Program Manager Gary Whelan at 517-284-5840 or WhelanG@Michigan.gov. Additional information can also be found on the DNR’s webpage on fish stocking.

  1. Aquaculture must obtain a prior entry permit before importing aquaculture species into Michigan. To obtain this permit, the following information must be submitted to MDARD-Aquaculture@Michigan.gov at least two business days before importation:
    1. A Fish Health Certificate (FHC) or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI)
    2. Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) test results
    3. An invoice or shipping statement with the following information:
  • Name, address and phone number of the selling facility, the receiving facility and the trucker transporting the fish.
  • Detailed list of the species, lot number, and the quantity (or total weight) of fish in the shipment.

Exception: No prior entry permit is needed for aquaculture going to private waters for non-commercial purposes, food markets, public aquariums, zoos, and retail ornamental fish facilites.

In addition to an MDARD prior entry permit, aquaculture destined for public waters will need a permit through the DNR and may require additional testing. For more information, contact the DNR Fisheries Program Manager Gary Whelan at 517-284-5840 or WhelanG@Michigan.gov. Additional information can also be found on the DNR’s webpage on fish stocking

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Exhibition (Show, demonstration or display) Requirements

There are no specific requirements for exhibition.

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Moving within Michigan (intrastate)

  1. Aquaculture destined for public waters, please contact the DNR Fisheries Project Manager, Gary Whelan at 517-284-5840 or WhelanG@Michigan.gov for more information.
  2. There are no specific requirements for intrastate movement between registered aquaculture facilities or into private waters.

Private waters are water bodies that do not have permanent inlets or outlets; public access sites and have never been stocked previously with fish by the State of Michigan. To verify that a water body is considered private waters, contact the DNR Fisheries Program Manager at 517-284-5840 or visit the DNR’s webpage on fish stocking.

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Leaving Michigan to go to Another State (export)

Please contact the state of destination. AHO contact information by State.

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International Movement

Please contact USDA Import/Export Coordinator 517-337-4718, vspsmi@aphis.usda.gov.

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