Proposed Australian Standard for Aquatic Plant Names

By Alan Snow, Project Manager, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Fish Names Committee, Alan Snow Konsulting,

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is an accredited developer of Australian Standards in the seafood industry and is responsible for the maintenance and ongoing development of AS 5300 – The Australian Fish Names Standard. This standard defines the standard names to be used for all fish and seafood in Australia.

The FRDC recently recognised that aquatic plants including samphire are part of an important and rapidly emerging industry, and that consideration should be given to developing a list of agreed standard names. The intended end point will be the development of an Australian Standard similar to the Australian Fish Names Standard.

Pistia stratiotes a species with many names including Water Lettuce, Water Cabbage, Nile cabbage, and Shellflower.

The Australian Fish Standard is available in a usable form as a searchable database. The proposed Australian Standard for Aquatic Plant Names will be modelled on this standard with the project to be led by Alan Snow, Project Manager for the Australian Fish Names Standard project.

Scope of the proposed standard

The proposed standard will define and include a list of agreed standard names in Australia for aquatic plants including algae, microalgae, samphire etc., and specify when standard names are to be used. Plants from marine and freshwater environments are covered by this standard, irrespective of the Country of Origin.

The scope of the standard is intentionally broad, but the species to be considered initially for inclusion in the Australian Standard for Aquatic Plant names will be limited to edible marine algae, microalgae, and samphire from aquatic environments.

Steering Committee

Alan Snow - Project Manager, Alan Snow Konsulting

Duncan Farquhar - Program Manager, Research and Innovation AgriFutures Australia

Karen Gowlett-Holmes - Marine Invertebrates Collection Marine and Atmospheric Research

Gordon (Gus) Yearsley - Honorary Fellow Marine and Atmospheric Research

Nicole Stubing - Program Manager FRDC

Progress to date

A draft list has been prepared with input from several contributors and sources. This list will need to be culled as it is all encompassing at present.

A website has been developed where updates and the list of names is available for download and comment:

Next Steps

The project steering committee is inviting comment on the list of names from all interested stakeholders. The list will be culled to true edible aquatic plants including plants used for additives etc.

A workshop is scheduled to be held in Hobart on 6th September 2018. Further details will be available later. If you have an interest in this project and would like to participate, please contact the Project Manager, Alan Snow at or on 0418 199 516.