Published: 12 May 2022 Updated: 12 July 2024
Table of contents


The Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300-2019 is funded by the FRDC and can be purchased through Intertek Inform



About Fish Names

The Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300:

  • a voluntary Standard (except export), to be utilised as an Australian industry best practice guide throughout the whole supply chain from primary producer (wild harvest or aquaculture), through to retailers and restaurants, including imported seafood;
  • mandatory use for meeting export requirements and documentation, as referenced in the export legislation;
  • was originally accepted and published as an official Australian Standard in 2007;
  • specifies one Standard Fish Name for an individual species or group of species;
  • includes approximately 5,000 Standard Fish Names;
  • as an Australian Standard, it is independently audited annually to ensure compliance to meet Standard Australia requirements, along with the approved policies and procedures;
  • is managed and continually developed by the Fish Names Committee;
  • the online searchable Fish Names Database has the most up-to-date information on all approved group and individual species names;
  • Fish Names Database can be downloaded here;
  • The Australian Fish Names Standard (AS 5300) - a voluntary (except mandatory for export) standard is available for viewing at no cost to the user;
  • Fish can mean “any aquatic vertebrate or invertebrate (excluding mammals and amphibians) in any form, including whole fish, or part thereof, in raw or cooked form, or as a fish product”; and
  • This is an FRDC Project - 2021-021: The ongoing development, implementation, communication and extension of the Australian Fish Names Standard (AS 5300) and the Australian Aquatic Plant Names Standard (AS 5301) for 2021-2025 is supported by funding from the FRDC on behalf of the Australian Government.

Benefits of the Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300

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

Activities of the Fish Names Committee

  • To develop and deliver communication and extension plans that increase stakeholder awareness and implementation of the Standard Fish Names throughout the supply chain;
  • To enhance stakeholder engagement with the Standard, by ensuring transparency, fairness and honesty throughout the Standard process;
  • To conduct stakeholder analysis to understand:
    • Who uses the Standard and how;
    • Feedback on the (i) application process; (ii) Standard, and (iii) Communication and Extension Plan;
  • To improve the content and relevance of the Standard, as part of continuous improvement;
  • To meet audit requirements to maintain accreditation as an Australian Standard; 
  • To publish an updated version of the Standard approximately every three years;
  • To hold at least two FNC meetings a year.

Background and Fish Names History

Australia has more than 5,000 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, many species being known by more than one name, and 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 standardising 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 in conjunction with numerous stakeholders.  SSA ceased operations in 2013.

FRDC immediately because accredited as a Standards Development Organization and has continued the maintenance and ongoing development of the Australian Fish Names Standard. 


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.

Current Fish Names Committee membership

*Biographies for each of the voted committee members are available on the Fish Names Committee page.

Mr Gus Dannoun  Independent Chair 
Mr Toby Abbott  Expert Member (Seafood Processors) 
Dr Shane Ahyong  Invertebrate Taxonomy appointee
Mr Hamish Allen  Expert Member (Major Supermarkets) 
Mr Glenn Austin  Expert Member (Hospitality) 
Mr Russell Conway  Recreational Fishing appointee 
Mr Michael Kitchener  Master Fish Merchants Association of Australia appointee (Independent Fish Retailers) 
Mrs Jessica McInerney Seafood Industry Australia appointee
Ms Lisa McKenzie  Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment appointee (Fish Exports) 
Mr John Pogonoski Fish Taxonomy and CAAB appointee
Dr Sonia Talman  Australian Fisheries Management Forum appointee (Fisheries Agencies)  
Vacant  Deputy Chair 
Vacant  Expert Member (Seafood Marketing)
Vacant  Food and Beverage Importers Association appointee
Observers and non-voting members  
Dr Patrick Hone SDO Representative
Ms Adrianne Laird SDO Representative
Project Manager and Administration  
Mr Gordon (Gus) Yearsley FNC Project Manager


Interested in becoming a member? Download the FNC Membership Nomination Form and submit it to the today


Download the Australian Fish Names Database

The Fish Names Database can be downloaded as an Excel file.


View the Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300

The Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300 is available for viewing at no cost to the user.



Can't find a species or a Standard Fish Name, 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

Public Consultation for Applications 352-356

In addition, stakeholders can also provide feedback on a list of minor changes relating to the use of hyphens, in the Fish Names Standard

Click here to provide feedback


Previous public consultation applications are available on request from



Communiques (Discontinued in 2023)


  • Standardising Fish Names Across Australian Jurisdictions - presented by Russell Conway at the World Recreational Fishing Conference February 2023


Fact files


Email for more information and inquiries.