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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Prawn which has contracted white spot disease

​The loose shell of a prawn with white spot disease, showing calcified white spots. Photo: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Tighter import controls to protect WA fisheries from white spot disease

Following the recent further detections of white spot disease (WSD) in Brisbane's Moreton Bay, we have taken further action to prevent the disease being introduced here, by tightening import requirements for crustaceans and worms from Queensland and New South Wales.

WSD is a highly-contagious disease that affects crustaceans and has caused high rates of mortality in stocks on seven prawn farms in South East QLD.  The virus does not pose a threat to human health or food safety.

WSD is not known to be present in Western Australia, however, if not managed it could pose a serious threat to crustaceans including prawns, crabs, lobsters and marron.

Our tighter import requirements now prohibit the entry into WA of all live and uncooked crustaceans (previously only prawns) and worms, from north of Rockhampton in QLD to a line south between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie in NSW, as shown in the associated map. Cooking destroys the virus, so all cooked products are still able to be imported into this State.

The updated import requirements are a precautionary measure and there have been no known detections of WSD in NSW. The requirements will be subject to review, as new information becomes available.

Recreational fishers are urged to remain vigilant by not using as bait any uncooked prawns or other crustaceans intended for human consumption. Also, they can help by not disposing of crustacean waste, including heads and shells in, or near, waterways.

Using the white spot disease alert, fishers should check their bait prawns or other crustaceans for signs of WSD and any 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: 29/03/2017 11:14 AM

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