White Spot Disease is highly contagious for crustaceans. It infects mostly prawns but can also affect crabs, lobsters, marine worms and freshwater crayfish. It poses no threat to human health or food safety.
It’s crucial that people fishing, crabbing or trapping yabbies in any of the state’s waterways do not use prawns intended for human consumption as bait, as this could spread the disease to NSW.
How to prevent the spread of White Spot Disease
- Do not bring bait caught in south east Queensland to NSW.
- Dispose of your prawn waste (heads or shells) in general waste, never to our waterways.
- Be aware of bait showing signs of White Spot Disease and do not use the bait if you are concerned it may be diseased.
- Wash your vehicles and gear between waterways.
- If you catch your own bait, use it only in the water from where it came.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said there is no evidence of White Spot in NSW and that everything is being done to keep it that way.
“As part of the new NSW Biosecurity Act all members of the community have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions could have a negative impact on another person, business, animal or the environment,” Mr Blair said.
“We have some of the toughest measures in the country but biosecurity is a shared responsibility and we need everyone to play a role to ensure White Spot does not enter our state.”
NSW Department of Primary Industries has instigated a surveillance program and sampled prawns from the Queensland border to the Hawkesbury, as well as all prawn farms in NSW.
Prawns have been examined from both estuary regions and ocean haul zones along our coastline and all results have come back negative.