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Legislation on selling bettas you breed!


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Can you please let me know were I can find the legislation for breeding and selling tropical fish in Queensland? Can I sell as a hobbist? Do I need a permit? I couldn't find any clear information. As I curently have about 400-500 fry, the oldest 4 months old and about 40 at selling size, the space and resources are getting limited and I need start selling them. My husband came with the idea to sell them as part of the business we already have which is fishery consultancy. The problem is we are operating mainly abroad and didn't get into Australian market yet. And consultancy for industrial fisheries has nothing to do with breeding tropical fish in my opinion. My husband asked the accountancy firm and they said yes we can if we add GST. Does anybody know if this is right? To sell them with GST through the business we have?



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From what I've been able to find... you cease to be a hobbyist if you have more than 10,000 litres of water for aquaculture... Could be wrong but there's a reference to that volume on either the Qld DPI or Fisheries subsite I think from memory.

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Aquaculture is based on two types under 50 square metres of floor space and over 50 square metres of floor space; the smaller being based on hobbyist to small aquaculture entities, the larger for commercial aquaculture entities

As a hobbyist you can sell up to 20,000 dollars of stock a year before you are required to gain an ABN and a aquaculture permit, most wholesalers will ask you to sign a waiver to state you are a hobbyist or give an invoice for tax purposes, most all stores will just take your fish and treat it as an under the counter job. (this is changing due to the new code of practise)

An ABN and the smaller aquaculture permit will cost you nothing

I deal with hobby breeders all the time I will buy large quantities of fish, mostly all they have

For more info go to the DPI&F and look at Aquaculture – self assessable code

And the tax department for ABN info

Hope this helps

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I was a bit out when I mentioned the 10,000 litres of water... the figure for self assessable (free) permits was 5,000 litres and under 50m2 of land area (not floor space). The big problem with self assessable aquaculture applications in Qld is that the source of stock must only be from Qld - so if you have imported or are importing stock for breeding that means technically the application should be submitted for assessment (and payment of large fees) unless there is an exemption for the aquarium hopbby I haven't found yet. There is no reference to hobbyist in the codes that I have read - an aquaculturist is one who raises an aquatic creature for sale regardless of the size of the operation.

It is possible that if you have 50m2 of ground being used for aquaculture the local government bylaws or act will have some requirement for an application for change of material use of land (which is expensive). There are also rules on disposal of waste water and requirements to report on health and disease - one thing I read said you need to report if fish swim funny (does that mean every case of SBD in fry?!?!?!) and have vetinarian advice on treatments etc.

This is the notes on Self Assessable Aquaculture

This is a PDF document of the Code for Self Assessable Aquaculture

This is a PDF document of the health management guidelines

This is the link to the Aquaculture policies, guidelines etc

This is their fees guide if you're not self assessable

These rules are fine for people who are actually running their fish breeding business but for the hobbyist who all of a sudden has several hundred fry / small fish to sell off there is no real recognition of their situation. This would make large breeders / wholesalers happy with hobbyists not encroaching on their territory but it is the hobbyist who generally breeds the quality fish not the quantity fish. The hobbyist also is responsible for maintaining lines of fish and in the case of betta wilds - even the existence of them where they are endangered in their own habitats.

So... they way I look at it - there has to be some 'bend' in the rules to allow hobbyists without having to go through all those crazy rules - might even be worth a phone call to a friendly fisheries person to talk about these rules in actual application rather than trying to interpret ourselves.

Hope the links help



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a write of reply

as i have been through this with DPI&F

self assessable code


The type of aquaculture fits one of the following four categories:

3: Exotic freshwater fish:

non-indigenous freshwater fish species, as listed in the Fisheries Regulation 2008 (Schedule 6 'Non-indigenous Fisheries Resources'),

for aquarium display purposes only,

using above ground tanks in a facility with a roof impervious to rain water, and

with a floor area not exceeding 50 square metres (excluding storage water areas).

Culture stock is obtained from an approved Queensland hatchery. (applies to indigenous freshwater fish species)

under type 3 of the 4 categories this does not apply

Stock needs to come from a legitimate source and proven to come from a legitimate source (someone like someone would Qualify) (importer or registered breeder-aquaculture even a pet shop) for they have conformed to there legal obligations

and so on and so on

i have had my buisness's approved by DPI&F

and i can get my breeding stock from where ever i want (but i need a special permit if i was to take it from the wild) (not going to happen with fighters in this country)

if you would like the name and number of the head of queensland DPI&F of this department i will pm or email that to you

Yes some of the detail in the code can be interpreted differently but that is why I spent so much time and money having these things clarified by the DPI&F

as i have both types of aquaculture permits and what i am commenting on is the self assessable code for 3: Exotic freshwater fish:

My aim is not to deceive people but to educate (from my own experience)

please feel free to get proper legal advise on these matters (as i have done)

any questions please email abettasupplyinfo@aanet.com.au


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This is obviously not a straightforward issue, and again I would urge anyone who needs to know how the law applies to their circumstances to seek legal advice rather than relying on the experiences of others.

Just because the above information has been posted here does not mean that Ausaqua endorses as correct any of the views expressed above re how the legislation operates and/or what it says. We cannot and will not be held accountable if you don't seek your own legal advice on these issues and problems result.

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