Prawn farm treatment completed following white spot outbreak

BIOSECURITY Queensland has completed treatment on all infected prawn farm operations in southeast Queensland following an outbreak of white spot disease in December 2016.

Final treatment and discharge of water from the seven prawn farms along the Logan River and in Moreton Bay finished this week. White Spot Response Program Director Kerrod Beattie said due to extensive rainfall and increased water levels following ex-tropical cyclone Debbie, the process was extended to allow for additional treatment of water on the farms.

“We have undertaken a thorough decontamination process including treating the water on the seven prawn farms,” Mr Beattie said. “We worked closely with the aquaculture farmers and with their assistance have completed a significant amount of work in just six months. This is the largest aquatic animal disease response in Queensland’s history.”

Mr Beattie said a movement control order remained in place from Caloundra to the NSW border to help stop the disease spreading. “It is crucial that people don’t move uncooked prawns, crabs, yabbies and marine worms out of the white spot movement control area,” he said. “The disease can spread if people move infected crustaceans to new areas and they somehow make it back into natural waterways. This includes people catching prawns and yabbies for bait and then using them further up or down the coast when they go fishing.”

An expansive surveillance program is under way along the east coast of Queensland. To date, all samples collected outside the movement control area have returned negative results for the virus that causes white spot. Under the movement control order, the movement of raw crustaceans such as prawns, crabs, yabbies and marine worms out of the zone is prohibited.

For more information on white spot, visit www.daf.qld.gov.au/wsd

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