News

Protecting South Australia's prawn industry from White Spot Disease

Thursday 1 February 2018

A mandatory ban on the import of crustaceans from parts of Queensland has been extended to prevent the disease from entering South Australia.


White spot disease (WSD) was first detected on a number of prawn farms in the Logan River and Moreton Bay areas of South East Queensland since December 2016.

Following extensive surveillance work in Queensland, the risk area been reduced to the immediate area of originally infected farms on the Logan River and Moreton Bay (WSD
control area). Until further notice the import ban restricts the importation of uncooked prawns from this area.

Any decapod crustaceans (including prawns) coming in from these areas must either be cooked or suitably irradiated prior to entering South Australia. Live high-value decapods such as crabs (e.g. mud crabs), crayfish, lobster and Moreton Bay bugs are recognised as being of low risk and are permitted subject to strict conditions.

The highly contagious viral infection affects crustaceans and can result in 100 per cent mortality within days of the first visible signs of the disease in intensive farming operations.

The disease has devastated the South East Queensland prawn aquaculture industry.

See more information and view the Declaration of a Livestock Standstill.

Quotes attributable to PIRSA Chief Veterinary Officer, Roger Paskin

Caution is still being exercised with respect to prawns originating from the Logan River and Moreton Bay areas, which will need to either cooked or irradiated before entering South Australia.

Extensive surveillance in northern Queensland has shown that WSD is not present in populations outside of the Logan estuary and adjacent Moreton Bay area. Imports of prawns from these areas are regarded as posing negligible risk.

South Australians must nevertheless remain vigilant. Any suspicion of unusual disease in aquatic animals must be reported to the nearest PIRSA office or on the Emergency Disease Hotline 1800 675 888.

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Media Contacts

Celia Brissenden - Communications Manager, Regional Development, Fisheries & Aquaculture and Forestry
Email: celia.brissenden@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0477 359 248

Agriculture, Food & Wine, Biosecurity and SARDI
Email: pirsa.media@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0455 091 908


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