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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​Prawns with WSD may have a loose shell with numerous white spots on the inside surface of the shell and a pink to red discolouration.

Friday 6 January 2017

Prawns off the bait list to prevent white spot

We are calling on recreational fishers to help prevent the spread of white spot disease to our valuable fisheries by not using food-grade prawns as bait.

White spot disease (WSD) has been detected on five prawn farms in Queensland. The contagious disease causes high rates of prawn mortality in farm stock, but is not a threat to human health. 

However, if it becomes established in Western Australia, it could pose a threat to farmed and wild freshwater and marine crustaceans.

We have amended the State's import requirements for prawns and worms from Queensland to help prevent white spot disease being introduced and spreading in WA's commercial fisheries. In addition, the federal government has now suspended importation of green prawns following detection of WSD in prawns sold for human consumption.

You can do your bit by not using food-grade prawns as bait. Or talk to a local bait supplier about alternative baits to prawns or only buy locally caught WA bait.

Weighed against the potential loss of prized catches like prawns and marron if WSD was to have an impact on WA, it’s an easy decision to make.

Using the white spot disease alert fishers should check their bait for any signs of WSD and prawns thought to have the disease should be retained and immediately reported to the FishWatch 24-hour hotline on 1800 815 507.

More details.

Last modified: 9/01/2017 9:58 AM

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