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The Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300-2019 is funded by the FRDC and can be purchased through the SAI Global Infostore

About Fish Names

The Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300:

  • prescribes a standard fish name for each species of fish produced or trade in Australia
  • includes over 4,000 Australian and imported species
  • was approved by Standards Australia as an official Australian Standard in 2007
  • was developed by the Australian Fish Names Committee
  • Our online Searchable Fish Names Database on the top of this page includes all species listed in the Standard.

Using Standard Fish Names

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.

Need for Standard Fish Names

Public and consumer confidence is supremely important to the wellbeing of Australia's $4 billion seafood industry. 

Standard fish names:

  • remove confusion
  • strengthen consumer confidence
  • create market efficiency
  • underpin effective species-based fisheries management, and
  • improve management of food safety

Australia has over 5000 native species of finfish, 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.  Australia also imports seafood products consisting of many other fish species from around the world to help satisfy the increasing demand for seafood.

Confusion over fish names has been caused by the numerous species Australia has on offer, a species being known by more than one name, or the same name being 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.

Extensive work on standardizing names used for fish in Australia has been undertaken since the early 1980s by industry, governments, scientists and other stakeholders.  Major progress has been made since 1992 as a result of strategic investments by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.  Seafood Services Australia (SSA) accepted responsibility for standardizing fish names in 2001 and continued to maintain this momentum.  SSA was accredited as a standards setting body in 2006 and subsequently developed the first version of this standard.  SSA ceased operations in 2013.

Purpose of this Standard

Use of standard fish names in Australia, as defined in this Standard, achieves outcomes that are consistent with the aims of industry and governments, including:

  • Improved monitoring and stock assessment enhances the sustainability of fisheries resources;
  • Increased efficiency in seafood marketing improves consumer confidence and industry profitability;
  • Improved accuracy in trade descriptions enables consumers to make more informed choices when purchasing seafood and reduces the potential for misleading and deceptive conduct;
  • More efficient management of seafood related public health incidents and food safety through improved labelling and species identification reduces public health risk and facilitates efficient product recall arrangements;
  • Enhanced marketability and consumer acceptability of the standard fish names used for a species eliminating misleading and deceptive conduct.


The Committee

The FRDC Board appoints the Fish Names Committee (FNC), to ensure the membership has national representation and relevant experience and skills within the seafood community.

The FNC acts independently and with authority, in accordance with the Standard policies and procedures.

FNC Membership as at 1 May 2019

Independent Chair Gus Dannoun
Fisheries Agencies Appointee Jason Gibson as nominee and coordinate attendance with Sean Sloan
Expert Member (Seafood Marketing and Fish and Invertebrates Taxonomy) Don Tuma
Expert Member (Hospitality) Glenn Austin
Expert Member (Fish Taxonomy) Gordon Yearsley
Expert Member (Seafood Processors) Anthony Mercer
CSIRO Fish Taxomony representative Karen Gowlett-Holmes
Australian seafood industry Appointee Renee Pearce
Recreational Fishing Appointee Russell Conway
Expert Member (Seafood Imports) Mark Boulter
Expert Member (Major Supermarkets) Hamish Allen
Expert Member (Seafood Marketing) Anni Conn
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources representative Lisa McKenzie
Expert Member (Master Fish Merchants' Association of Australia representative) Kerry Strangas


Non-Voting Membership
Project Management

  • Meaghan Dodd – Project Manager

SDO Representatives

  • Dr Patrick Hone- FRDC
    Dr Carolyn Stewardson - FRDC
Interested in becoming a member? Download the FNC Membership Nomination Form and submit it to the today



Can't find a species or a Standard Fish Names or do you want to change a current Standard Name?
Download Application Form and submit it to the today

How to submit an application

  1. Confirm the species
    1. If a new species, the FNC requires the species to be formally identified and then published in a peer reviewed journal. A copy of the published paper must be attached to you application.
    2. If a current species, the FNC requires confidence that it is correct species. You can discuss this with a taxonomist or the FNC Project Manager.
  2. Check the Fish Names searchable database at the top of this page
    1. Does the species already exist? or
    2. Does the proposed Standard name already exist?
  3. Propose A Standard Name
    1. Only one Standard name can be assigned to a species or a group
    2. Confirm if you are changing a current Standard Name or proposing a new Standard Name
    3. Create or update a Standard Name that is relevant to the species and its attributes
    4. Confirm you are using a Standard Name and not a marketing/brand name (ref resource doc here link – yet to be created.)
  4. Prepare draft application
    1. Read the application thoroughly before completing
    2. Ensure you meet all the protocols
    3. Complete a general search on the Proposed Name and species/group
    4. Consult with industry for support of the application
    5. Draft application
  5. Compile documentation
    1. Evidence of stakeholder support for application
    2. Additional evidence to support your application and industry protocols
    3. All supporting and research documentation are clearly labelled
  6. Finalised application
    1. Clearly identify any 'Commercial-in Confidence" information that you have included your application, as this will be excluded for any public comment.
    2. Check application form and ensure all sections are completed and meet the protocols
    3. Complete invoicing section
  7. Submit the application with all additional documentation attached


For further information or questions about FNC application, email


Public Consultations

Public consultation is a critical part of the Australian Fish Names Standard process and allows the opportunity for all relevant industry sectors and individuals to provide valuable input and feedback on any amendments.  Public consultation MUST be at least 60 days to be valid.

The FNC reviews all feedback from the public consultation, including any emails or communication with stakeholders, before a final decision is made.  The decision is based on whether or not the application meets the Standard protocols, has widespread stakeholder support and all other information provided.

Applications Open for Public Comment

There are currently no applications that are subject to Public Consultation



Email for more information and inquiries.