In order to determine the diversity and pathogenicity of Erysipelothrix spp. isolates recovered from marine fish, a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) and the marine environment, 14 isolates were characterized by genotyping, serotyping, determination of the surface protective antigen (spa) gene type and assessment of virulence in a pig bioassay. All 14 isolates were Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. Isolates were determined to be of serotypes 2 (n = 3), 3 (n = 1), 4 (n = 1), 12 (n = 1), 15 (n = 1) or 21 (n = 6), and one isolate cross-reacted with serotypes 5 and 21. The spa gene analysis determined that 64.3% (n = 9) were spaA and 35.7% (n = 5) were spaB1. In pigs, 10/14 isolates induced small plaques to diamond-shaped cutaneous lesions consistent with Erysipelothrix spp. infection. The results of this study indicate that the marine E. rhusiopathiae isolates have greater genetic and antigenic diversity than pig isolates and are capable of inducing classical skin lesions in pigs.