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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A white spot prawn with arrows highlighting telltale spots on shell

Prawns with white spot may have a loose shell with numerous white spots on the inside surface and a pink to red discolouration. Report any suspected prawns immediately. Photo courtesy Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Protecting WA fisheries remains the focus as white spot import restrictions amended

Import restrictions for white spot in Western Australia have been amended, following further positive detections in Moreton Bay from recent testing.

White spot is a highly contagious virus that affects farmed and wild crustaceans including prawns, crabs and lobsters, but does not pose a threat to human health or food safety.

White spot has not been detected in WA’s wild or farmed prawns.

The changes increase the size of the restricted area by moving the Northern border of the Queensland zone further away from the location of the positive detections in Moreton Bay, to approximately 45km North of Bundaberg.

The import changes are designed to protect Western Australia from potential disease carriers from interstate, whilst enabling low risk products to enter.

Local fishers have a critical role in preventing the spread of the virus by ensuring all seafood for human consumption, especially raw prawns, are not used as bait.

You can also check your bait to make sure the prawns are Australian wild-caught from a quality, trusted bait supplier, or catch your own in your local area. 

Don’t dispose of crustacean waste, including heads and shells in, or near, waterways.

Fishers should also check their bait prawns, or other crustaceans, for signs of white spot. Any thought to have white spot should be retained and immediately reported to the FishWatch hotline on 1800 815 507, which operates 24-hours a day.

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Last modified: 25/07/2018 4:07 PM

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