Standard Fish Names | Oceanwatch Australia

Standard Fish Names

Standard Fish Names

Australia has over 5000 native species of fish, and many more crustaceans and molluscs. Several hundred of these species are important commercially, and many others support recreational activities such as fishing and diving.


There has long been confusion over fish names in Australia. Species were often known by more than one name, or the same name was used for more than one species. As early as the 1920s, meetings were held in Sydney to discuss fish names as the local and regional variations were becoming apparent.

In 2007, the Australian Fish Names Standard AS SSA 5300 became Australia’s official standard for fish names.

The Australian Fish Names Standard AS SSA 5300:

  • was developed by the Australian Fish Names Committee

  • prescribes a standard fish name for each species of fish produced for trade in Australia

  • includes over 4000 Australian and imported species

The Standard specifies that:

  • fish sold to consumers (e.g. retail sales and restaurants) must be identified by their standard fish name

  • fish sold other than directly to consumers (e.g. wholesale, export, import) must be identified by their standard fish name or scientific name.

In 2008, the Sydney Fish Market and some on-site retailers became the first companies in Australia to be certified to the Australian Fish Names Brand Scheme.

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