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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.
Wednesday 14 December 2016

Import restrictions on Queensland prawns and worms to stop disease

We are urging Western Australians to keep to new import requirements to prevent the establishment of a serious prawn disease in this State, following its detection in Queensland.

White spot disease (WSD) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects crustaceans. It has been detected on three prawn farms on the Logan River, in south east Queensland near Brisbane.

We are working with other agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), to coordinate actions to prevent WSD establishing in WA.

The risk of spreading the virus here is being reduced by restricting the import of all live or uncooked prawns, or parts of prawns and polychaete worms, from Queensland.

Prawns are the basis of Western Australia’s third most valuable commercial fishery, worth about $25 to $35 million annually. Prawning is a popular recreational activity here, especially around the Swan and Canning rivers near Perth and the Peel Inlet near Mandurah. 

Recreational fishers can help to stop the spread of this virus by checking their bait for any signs of WSD and not use food grade prawns as bait. Please use the white spot disease alert to become aware of the distinguishing features of the disease.

Any prawns suspected to have WSD should be retained and reported to FishWatch on 1800 815 507 as soon as possible.

More details.

Last modified: 20/12/2016 3:39 PM

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