Transport guidelines - PACKER'S GUIDELINES Ps/1

Ps/1 – Fishes, except those species that cannot be contained in polythene bags
1. General welfare
1.1 Fishes should have priority over merchandise.
1.21 Only fishes in good health should be transported.
1.3 Fishes should not be sedated.
1.4 Fishes of different species should not be transported in the same bag or container.
1.5 Unless fishes of the same species are known to be compatible with one another, they should not be transported in the same bag or container.
1.6 Fishes should be disturbed as little as possible.
1.7 Fishes that have become sick or that have been injured during transport should receive veterinary treatment as soon as possible and, if necessary, should be humanely destroyed. A record of any such occurrences should be kept.
1.8 Sick or dead fishes should be removed from containers, when feasible, and a record kept.
1.9 Fishes should not be contained for periods in excess of 36 hours, without the water being re-oxygenated and its temperature checked.
1.10 To avoid cross-infection, and for health and hygiene reasons, human contact with fishes should be avoided, and they should not be housed near foodstuffs or in places to which unauthorized persons have access.
1.11 No fish should be transported with radioactive material or other substances dangerous to health.
1.12 Containers should be secured to the aircraft, rail wagon, lorry or ship to avoid any possible movement, and should at all times be maintained in a horizontal position.
2. Advance arrangements for transport
2.1 All possible precautions should be taken in advance to ensure that fishes are not subjected to extremes of temperature. This would necessitate planning their movement with due regard to the climatic conditions natural to them, and to the conditions prevailing at their final destination, and also those that will be encountered during transport. Particular attention should be paid to the facilities at any intermediate stops at airports, etc.
2.2 Containers should be destroyed after use.
2.3 The estimated time of arrival should be notified in advance to the consignee, and also the route of the consignment. Adequate arrangements for its prompt collection at the final destination, and for any necessary movement at transit points, should be made in advance.
2.4 Should any delay in collection be anticipated, then advance arrangements should be made for the housing, feeding and care of the fishes.
2.5 Cash on delivery facilities should not be used.
3. Container
3.1 The container should be constructed of suitable, strong, high-density, expanded polystyrene, or material with similar strength and insulating properties.
3.2 An outer container of suitable strong cardboard or wood, or other material of similar strength, should be provided to ensure that the container is strong enough to house the fishes and to withstand the handling involved during transport.

Adequate precautions should be taken to ensure that the container is leakproof.

4 Packing
4.1 In order to minimize pollution of the water, fishes should not be fed for 24 hours prior to shipment.
4.2 The fishes should be placed in plastic bags which should then be filled with sufficient water, fresh or salt according to species being shipped, while ensuring that there is no risk of lack of oxygen. The bags should then be sealed. Labyrinth and other air breather specimens require a 50/50 air/oxygen mix, not pure oxygen as this can be fatal in such specimens. Some fishes with spines may be transported safely by using two polythene bags, one inside the other, with a thickness of paper between them. Bag should not be inflated hard.
4.3 The plastic bags should be placed in the containers described in 3.1 and 3.2.
4.4 A quantity of spare plastic bags should be packed in the top of the container, for use in an emergency.
4.5 If the species being transported requires a low temperature, ice should be added to the water as necessary.
4.6 The container should be securely taped or banded.
5. Labelling and documentation
  Durable, waterproof labels should be provided as follows:
5.1 "LIVE FISH – DO NOT TIP OR DROP" on all sides and top.
5.2 "THIS WAY UP", with arrows indicating the top, on all sides. "TOXIC" or "POISONOUS" where applicable.
5.3 Consignor's and consignee's name, address and telephone number. Box numbers should not be used as the sole address.
5.4 Detailed list of contents: number of fishes; scientific name and common names used in the exporting and importing countries; whether fresh or saltwater species.
5.5 Temperature range required.
5.6 Date on which fishes were packed for transport.
5.7 Official stamp of carrier showing date of his receipt of consignment.
  Durable, waterproof means of containing the following documents and other essential information should be firmly attached to the container:
5.8 Duplicate of consignor's and consignee's name, address and telephone number.
5.9 Duplicate list of contents as in 5.4.
5.10 Copies of relevant export and import licences.
5.11 Copy of valid health certificate issued in accordance with the requirements of the importing country.
5.12 Duplicate information regarding temperature range required.
1 Exceptional circumstances may arise which justify departure from this recommendation.