The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is calling on the public’s help to remain vigilant this summer to ensure NSW remains free of white spot disease.
DPI is continuing its work to minimise the spread of white spot disease, which was detected in prawns in South East Queensland in December 2016.
DPI manager of Aquatic Biosecurity, Juliet Corish said everyone in coastal and inland communities had a role to play in protecting the waterways.
“This summer we are calling on the community to help play a role in keeping white spot out of NSW, which is especially important when there is more activity on our waterways during the holiday season,” Ms Corish said.
“White spot is a highly contagious viral disease of crustaceans, primarily prawns, but also crabs, lobsters and freshwater crayfish as well as marine worms can carry the virus.
“Prawns are safe to eat. White spot disease does not pose a threat to human health or food safety.
“It is crucial that people fishing, crabbing or trapping yabbies in any of our waterways, do not use prawns intended for human consumption as bait, as this might spread the virus to new areas.
“We want to make sure everyone is aware of movement restrictions that apply in certain areas of south east Queensland to prevent further spread.”
Ms Corish said DPI continued to test prawns from both estuary regions and ocean haul zones along the NSW coastline.
“We will continue to conduct testing on our prawns in NSW through ongoing surveillance and sampling,” Ms Corish said.
Tips to keep your favourite fishing White spot disease free:
Ms Corish said as part of the NSW Biosecurity Act, all members of the community had a general biosecurity duty.
“Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and we need everyone to remain vigilant to ensure White Spot does not enter our state.”
Suspected diseases and pests can be reported to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
For more information about white spot, visit DPI’s website.
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