Australia standardizes fish names

Retailers displaying logo guarantee to use nationally standardized fish names, helping to remove consumer confusion
Australia standardizes fish names

June 25, 2008

Australia standardizes fish names



What is described as one of the most important developments for seafood consumers in over 200 years has been launched Australia-wide.

A scheme has been launched by Seafood Services Australia whereby seafood retailers displaying the "Approved Fish Names" logo guarantee to use nationally standardized fish names, helping to remove the confusion that numerous surveys have revealed reduces consumers' confidence in purchasing seafood.

Ted Loveday, Managing Director of Seafood Services Australia said at yesterday’s launch of the Fish Names Brand Scheme was a critically important innovation for both seafood businesses and consumers.

"A lot of people in the seafood industry are very excited about this scheme," Loveday said. "It's a breakthrough. It's been a long time coming and will make a real difference to seafood retailing across the nation.

"Its adoption by all the retailers at the Sydney Fish Market from today is just the beginning, and a very significant indication of how responsible retailers believe adopting the standard fish names scheme can benefit their business and help consumers. The Sydney Fish Market is the largest seafood market in the country and all of the retailers there recognize the benefits of this scheme.

"By adopting the scheme and displaying the 'Approved Fish Names' logo in their premises, participating retail outlets can demonstrate to customers their commitment to the accurate use of names and labeling of fish. That will certainly give them a marketing edge".

Loveday said the SSA scheme aimed to strengthen consumer confidence in seafood.

"The scheme addresses the most important concern identified amongst seafood consumers in numerous surveys over the past two decades. The consistent use of correct fish names, along with the accurate identification of the country of origin of the product, is essential for long-term consumer confidence.

"The Australian Fish Names Standard AS SSA 5300-2007 defines one Standard Fish Name to be used for each seafood species produced or traded in Australia. The list was developed by SSA's National Fish Names Committee through an extensive consultation process involving seafood experts, consumer representatives, fisheries managers and other stakeholders -- a mammoth six-year project involving public consultation and the assigning of names for 4,500 seafood species -- and was adopted by Standards Australia as an official Australian Standard in July 2007.

"The SSA Fish Names Brand Scheme directly addresses accuracy in fish names. It provides positive incentives for seafood businesses to achieve and promote the use of correct fish names and accurate labelling through a recognised logo in which consumers can have confidence."

And why is it one of the most important developments for over 200 years?

"Confusion over fish names in Australia began at least 238 years ago, when Captain Cook sailed into Botany Bay and his crew caught a reddish fish he named 'snapper', because it was similar to an entirely different family of fish he was familiar with from earlier trips to the Americas. In fact, Cook's ghost can rest easy: that name is so popular it has been retained as the standard name across the country. But that's 'snapper', not 'schnapper': the extra 'ch' was an adornment restaurateurs added later."

Details of the scheme are available on the SSA website.


List of Standard Fish Names For Some Popular Species

The following list shows the Standard Fish Names and obsolete names for some popular species (by State). Full details of these and all of the 4,500 species in the Australian Fish Names Standard are available on our user-firendly, searchable online Standard Fish Names Database:



Standard Fish Name

Obsolete Name


Blue Swimmer Crab

Sand Crab


Moses Snapper

Moses Perch, Fingermark Bream


Golden Perch



Saddletail Snapper

Saddletail Seaperch


Tropical Snapper



Yellowfin Bream






Blue-Eye Trevalla

Blue-Eye Cod


Bight Redfish

Red Snapper



Deepsea Bream


Orange Roughy

Deepsea Perch



Black Bream, Blackfish


Mahi Mahi



Bar Rockcod

Bar Cod



Black King












Deepsea Bream


Orange Roughy

Deepsea Perch





Blue Weed-Whiting

Grass Whiting


Silver Perch

Black Perch



Black King





Blue-eye Trevalla

Deep Sea Trevalla, Sea Trevally


Blue Warehou



Silver Warehou



Australian Herring

Tommy Ruff


Australian Sardine






Golden Perch




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