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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Two prawns showing signs of White Spot Syndrome Virus

​Prawns with White Spot may have a loose shell with numerous white spots on the inside surface and a pink-to-red discolouration. Photo: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

White Spot import requirements eased

We have partially eased our White Spot Syndrome Virus import requirements for Western Australia to allow the import of more live and uncooked crustaceans from a larger area of Australia’s east coast.

The import changes are designed to protect WA from potential disease carriers from interstate, while enabling low risk products to enter.

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

The virus did not occur in Western Australian wild or farmed prawns but due to the serious impact of White Spot and its ability to spread easily, people fishing or crabbing in WA have a critical role in preventing the spread of this virus by doing the following:

  • All seafood for human consumption, especially imported raw prawns, should not be used as bait as they may carry and introduce viruses to our waterways and have impacts on both farmed and wild prawns and other crustaceans.
  • Check your bait to make sure the prawns you use 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.
  • Uncooked prawns and other seafood purchased from the supermarket or fishmonger are meant for human consumption only and must not be used as bait.

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

More details.

Last modified: 16/01/2018 5:30 PM

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