White spot disease detected in NSW prawn farm
The presence of White Spot has been confirmed in an enclosed prawn facility in the north of NSW by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.
White Spot is a highly contagious viral infection that affects crustaceans and can cause major mortalities in farmed prawns.
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the NSW Government has acted swiftly to contain and manage the detection.
“The NSW Government has put movement restrictions in place to limit the risk of White Spot entering our state since it was first detected in South East Queensland in 2016,” Mr Saunders said.
“The detection is within an enclosed prawn facility and was identified during routine testing carried out by our DPI Biosecurity Team.
“NSW DPI Authorised Officers have been working closely with the owners of the prawn facility and have overseen the destruction and disposal of all infected prawns in the facility. Decontamination activities are also underway to treat the site and stop any further spread.
“As the detection is within an enclosed facility, not outside in free water, we have confidence that the protocols in place have contained this detection and we don’t believe it will spread further.
“DPI is undertaking tracing and surveillance activities to try and identify the source of the White Spot and how it got into NSW.
“We have also notified other prawn farms in the area and have reminded them to be diligent with their biosecurity protocols.”
While White Spot causes mortality in farmed prawns and can have significant ramifications on production, it is important for consumers to know that it poses no threat to human health and safety.
“The important take away from this is that prawns remain perfectly fine for human consumption and there are no issues with continuing to purchase them from your local seafood supplier,” Mr Saunders said.
“The NSW Government takes biosecurity matters like these extremely seriously and we will continue to work closely with industry to ensure minimal disruption occurs.”
Visit the Department of Primary Industries website for more information.