SPOTTING IT: What to look out for to identify white spot disease in prawns.
SPOTTING IT: What to look out for to identify white spot disease in prawns. QLD DAF

How to protect our waters against white spot disease

DEPARTMENT of Primary Industries warned recreational anglers to maintain strict biosecurity measures to prevent an outbreak of white spot prawn disease in NSW.

DPI reminded anglers fishing in our state's waterways to only use prawns certified for use as bait on the hook or as berley to protect the seafood industry.

NSW Acting Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Juliet Corish, said the highly contagious white spot disease affected crustaceans and was detected in a number of prawn farms in Queensland.

"There is currently no evidence of white spot disease in NSW prawns and we want to keep it this way,” Dr Corish said.

"Prawns intended for human consumption should never be used for bait or berley and unused prawns should never be disposed of in waterways.

"To help minimise the risk, DPI placed restrictions on the importation into NSW of any uncooked decapod crustaceans (including prawns, crabs, yabbies, Moreton Bay bugs and lobsters) or polychaete worms from a designated area encompassing all affected areas in south east Queensland.”

Prawns affected by white spot can be identified if they have loose shells with white spots on the inside surface of the shell and a pink to red discolouration.

There are no human health or food concerns associated with white spot disease.

Dr Corish urged anglers and boaters to clean all aquatic gear and equipment when moving between NSW waterways.

Report any suspicions of white spot disease to the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.



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