taken from Qld DAF email newsletter
Thurs 25 January 2018
White spot disease surveillance
Biosecurity Queensland will conduct the next round of surveillance sampling for white spot disease between late February and June 2018. Sampling will be conducted in Moreton Bay and in key locations along the east coast of Queensland north to Cairns. More details on surveillance conducted to date are available on the white spot disease surveillance webpage. https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/animal-health-and-diseases/a-z-list/white-spot-disease/white-spot-surveillance
White spot disease community engagement
Biosecurity Queensland community engagement staff have spoken with recreational fishers at boat ramps throughout South East Queensland over the last few months. Our two engagement officers have also visited popular fishing spots to answer questions related to white spot disease. Below is a collated list of the frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The top five FAQs are:
Q1: Is it safe to eat prawns with white spot disease?
A: Yes. White spot disease does not pose any human health or food safety concerns.
Q2: What is the exact area that movement restrictions apply?
A: The restricted area extends from Caloundra to the NSW border following a line 100 metres off the eastern coasts of Bribie, Moreton and Stradbroke Islands. It also extends west to encompass the western borders of Gold Coast City Council, Brisbane City Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Q3: What animals do the movement restrictions apply to?
A: The movement restrictions apply to decapod crustaceans, such as prawns and yabbies and polychaete worms. However, an exemption applies to high value species that are caught and sold for the sole purpose of being eaten. This includes: spanner crabs, three spotted crabs, blue swimmer crabs, mud crabs, red champagne lobsters, slipper lobsters, tropical rock lobsters and bugs.
Q4: How long will the movement restrictions be in place for?
A: The movement restrictions will be in place for a minimum of two years from July 2017, providing future testing for white spot disease returns negative results. If we receive positive results in the future then this timeframe will be extended.
Q5: What is Biosecurity Queensland doing to stop the disease?
The White Spot Disease Program is focused on continued surveillance and prevention and control activities within the restricted area with the aim of eradicating white spot disease in Queensland and returning Australia to a white spot disease-free status.
All infected prawn farms in the Logan River region have been disinfected and are now laying fallow until 31 May 2018 to ensure the virus that causes the disease is no longer present.
Movement restrictions are in place to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading through human assistance. Fishing restrictions are also in place in high-risk areas around prawn farms.