NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair is reminding communities across the State to remain vigilant and follow expert advice in order to keep NSW free from white spot.
Mr Blair said regional communities in South East Queensland were hit hard by white spot in 2016 and the whole community plays and important role in protecting our NSW prawn industry
“White spot is highly contagious for crustacean, primarily prawns, but it can also affect crabs, lobsters, marine worms and freshwater crayfish – it does not affect people and NSW seafood remains safe to eat,” Mr Blair said.
“So far there has been no evidence of white spot in NSW and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way, but we need the community’s help.
“It’s 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 could spread white spot to NSW.
“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.
“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 DPI has instigated a surveillance program and sampled prawns from the Queensland border to the Hawkesbury, as well as all prawn farms in NSW.
DPI has also been examining prawns from both estuary regions and ocean haul zones along our coastline and all results have come back negative.
Professional Fishermen’s Association (PFA) Executive Officer, Tricia Beatty, said the PFA has been actively working with fishers to identify and help prevent the spread of white spot to NSW.
“We have been hosting meetings with industry to ensure commercial fishers are aware of how they can play an important role to eradicate white spot,” Ms Beatty said.
Source: NSW Government