Fishers warned after prawn disease outbreak

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Image: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

REC fishos are being warned against using uncooked imported prawns as bait following the outbreak of white spot disease in Queensland’s Logan River.

While White Spot Disease isn’t harmful to humans, anglers risk spreading the disease if warnings aren’t heeded.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources continues to work collaboratively with the Queensland Government to determine the origin of the outbreak of white spot disease in prawn farms in south-east Queensland.

Deputy Secretary Lyn O’Connell said: “The department continues to investigate how this outbreak of white spot disease has occurred, but no definite link has been determined at this point.”

“We are still looking at a number of pathways that may have resulted in the white spot disease incursion in Queensland, including imported feed or probiotics, contaminated equipment, or even discarded uncooked prawns—or bits of prawns—that were purchased to eat.

“In the course of our investigations, the department did come across recreational fishers using imported prawns labelled for human consumption for bait in the Logan River,” said O’Connell.

“Subsequent testing of the product did return positive results for the virus.

“What this tells us is that fishers using infected imported prawns for bait is one possible pathway for this disease to get into our river system and onto prawn farms—and is why prawns imported for human consumption should never be used for bait.”

More information can be found on the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

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