Australia: Queensland government has confirmed the presence of white spot disease (WSD) in wild prawns recently collected from the Logan River and in three prawn farms in the region.
As a result, surveillance will increase in the river to determine the scale of the disease in natural waterways, given that white spot has had devastating impacts in other countries, particularly in relation to aquaculture prawns. The disease can occur in marine environments and affect all types of decapod crustaceans as well as polychaete worms.
Infected prawns do not pose any human health risk and there is no suggestion that any product currently on the market is in any way affected.
To reduce the risk of the disease spreading to other areas of Queensland and other states, a Biosecurity Emergency Order has been applied to the Logan River from Jabiru Weir and Luscombe Weir to the mouth of the river and infected properties.
The Order restricts the movement of all potential carriers of the disease out of the area, including crustaceans such as prawns and crabs and polychaete worms.
Commercial and recreational fishers are encouraged not to operate in the area as they will be unable to retain their catch and remove it from the area.
Biosecurity Queensland and Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol will be onsite advising river users of the movement controls and enforcing if necessary. Penalties apply to people who breach the movement control order.
Biosecurity has completed destocking and disinfection of one of the infected properties and will continue containment and control measures on the second and third properties today. Surveillance of all properties in the area is continuing.
Chief Biosecurity Officer Jim Thompson stated that disinfection and destocking of ponds at aquaculture farms on the Logan River has been ongoing since last week when the outbreak of WSD had first been detected.
“I continue to emphasise that infected prawns do not pose any human health risk, and despite this latest development there will be no impact on the supplies of prawns for the holiday season,” he concluded.