The significance of Aeromonas hydrophila in association with disease outbreaks in aquaculture production in the Zhejiang province of China was investigated. Bacteriological examination of moribund fish and crabs resulted in 95 bacterial isolates: 88 bacterial isolates from fish and 7 isolates from crabs. PCR and traditional biochemical methods were used for identification of A. hydrophila. Out of 69 motile aeromonads, 35 isolates were identified as A. hydrophila by biochemical tests. However, 6 of those were not identified as A. hydrophila by a species specific PCR method. Serotyping revealed 2 dominant serotypes (O9 and O97) among A. hydrophila isolates. The data presented show that approximately 42% of the motile aeromonads isolated from disease outbreaks among various fish species were A. hydrophila. It is noteworthy that A. hydrophila accounted for more than 50% of the isolated aeromonands isolated from crucian carp Carassius carassius and Wuchang bream Megalobrama amblycephala with haemorrhagic septicaemia. Although this species was the most frequently isolated organism from internal organs of diseased fish and crabs in the present study, other motile Aeromonas spp. were also found. The PCR assay was useful in preventing misidentification of A. hydrophila, which may occur when only phenotypic tests are employed.