Five isolates from marine fish (W3T, WM, W1S, S2 and S3) and three isolates misclassified as Photobacterium phosphoreum, originating from spoiled modified atmosphere packed stored cod (NCIMB 13482 and NCIMB 13483) and the intestine of skate (NCIMB 192), were subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the isolates were members of the genus Photobacterium. Sequence analysis using the gapA, gyrB, pyrH, recA and rpoA loci showed that these isolates formed a distinct branch in the genus Photobacterium, and were most closely related to Photobacterium aquimaris, Photobacterium kishitanii, Photobacterium phosphoreum and Photobacterium iliopiscarium. The luxA gene was present in isolates W3T, WM, W1S, S2 and S3 but not in NCIMB 13482, NCIMB 13483 and NCIMB 192. AFLP and (GTG)5-PCR fingerprinting indicated that the eight isolates represented at least five distinct genotypes. DNA–DNA hybridizations revealed 89% relatedness between isolate W3T and NCIMB 192, and values below 70% with the type strains of the phylogenetically closest species, P. iliopiscarium LMG 19543T, P. kishitanii LMG 23890T, P. aquimaris LMG 26951T and P. phosphoreum LMG4233T. The strains of this new taxon could also be distinguished from the latter species by phenotypic characteristics. Therefore, we propose to classify this new taxon as Photobacterium piscicola sp. nov., with W3T (=NCCB 100098T = LMG 27681T) as the type strain.