Invasive Fish - Trout in South Africa

The international literature on the invasiveness of trout is absolute and overwhelming. Brown trout and rainbow trout are highly invasive species outside of their natural distribution ranges and are listed amongst the world’s 100 Worst Invasive Alien Species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).)  

Research conducted in South Africa has conclusively found that trout eat indigenous fish, amphibians and invertebrates. Trout live in self-sustaining populations in cool waters and they have to eat to stay alive. These eating habits have a devastating impact on biodiversity.

South Africa's National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) seeks to protect biodiversity, and under South African law, if the spread of a species may result in environmental harm, the species is declared invasive.


The Alien and Invasive Species Regulations for NEMBA was published on 12 February 2014 and opened for public comment.

Please find below a link to the NEMBA Regulations as they appeared in the Government Gazette on 12 February 2014. 

Trout are listed under the Invasive Species Lists of these regulations:

Trout in SA - Invasive Risk Assessments

SA Govt - Proposed Regulation of Trout

SA Academics - Position on Trout

Invasiveness of Trout in SA - Academic Papers

Invasive trout - Press clippings

Invasive Trout - Fact Sheets

Brown trout Salmo trutta
Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

Aquaculture Bill

The draft Aquaculture Bill was released for public comment on 7 August 2015. The purpose of this Bill is to promote the development of an equitable, diverse, viable and competitive aquaculture sector and contribute to food security. It covers all aspects of aquaculture, including crocodile farming.