Partial 16S rDNA from Vibrio collection type strains and recent isolates of Vibrio-related strains were sequenced and compared with previously published sequences. A 24-base DNA oligonucleotide (VaV3) was designed and used as a specific probe for detection and identification of Vibrio anguillarum. Its specificity was tested against collection type strains and environmental isolates and no cross-reaction was found. The probe detected 8 of the 10 V. anguillarum serovars. It was applied to screen different Vibrio-related strains isolated from marine hatcheries and fish farms. The detection limit in DNA-DNA slot blot hybridization was 150 pg.