Fish marking : what regulatory obligations?

Since February 1st 2013, any project requiring internal marking of fish for identification purposes is subject to strict regulation (see the interministerial decree).

SCIMABIO Interface and its staff are in compliance with these regulatory requirements. Since April 30th 2015, SCIMABIO Interface is approved for the use of animals for scientific purposes under No. 74-1589 A. As such, we ensure compliance with current regulations for all projects involving internal fish markings.

Specifically, this legislation covers all studies on fish using either PIT tags (RFID transponders) or radio / acoustic transmitters.

Implantation de marques RFID et télémétrie

Implantation of RFID and telemetry marks

Fish identification using PIT tags or transmitters has been increasingly used in research projects and studies, for various purposes: migratory behaviour, movement tracking, crossing structures, survival rates, population dynamics.

This recent legislation has set a regulatory framework for the marking of live animals in order to:

  • Improve tagging protocols by applying the “3Rs” rule (Replace animal model, Reduce the number of animals, Refine procedures);
  • Promote good practices during marking operations, including the implementation of any device used to reduce stress, pain or infection risks;
  • Ensure uniform qualification of all agencies and operators;
  • Reduce the risks to wild populations;
  • Improve the quality of results.

All organizations wishing to perform internal marking are concerned: research institutes, government agencies, private companies, consultants, associations for migratory fish, fishing associations.

Regulatory requirements are:

  • The project manager and any operators who will be in charge of fish marking must hold specific qualifications and have completed the necessary training ;
  • Operators and project managers must prove regular practice and attest skills updates ;
  • The organization responsible for the project must obtain approval as institution user of animals for scientific purposes;
  • Each project must be approved by an ethics committee for animal experimentation in order to then get a final approval by the Ministry of Ecology.

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