White spot virus found at another prawn farm

DISEASED: A prawn infected with the white spot disease. Photo: Biosecurity QueenslandBIOSECURITY scientists are destocking a fifth aquaculture farm on the Logan River as they continue to respond to an outbreak of white spot disease in prawns.

A Biosecurity Queensland spokesperson said they had received positive test results from the farm for the virus that causes the disease.

Earlier this month theLogan River was closed to the commercial and recreational take of crustaceans like prawns and crabs.

The spokesperson said the latest farm to be identified was about four kilometres downriver from the other four premises that hadalready been destocked.

“At this stage it is not yet clear how the virus has come to be present on this premises,” the spokesperson said.

There were three other aquaculture farms –one of which had no prawn stock – nearby.

“Treatment of infected ponds with chlorine has commenced and heightened surveillance measures in the other nearby premises are in place.”

WSD is a viral infection that affects crustaceans.

Australia had previously been WSD free and the recent cases were the first confirmed in an aquaculture setting.

Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol has asked recreational fishers to report unusual signs in prawns and crabs.

Prawns with WSD may have a loose shell with numerous white spots (0.5-2.0mm in diameter) on the inside surface of the shell and a pink to red discolouration.

Signs to look for include:

unusual mortalityprawns coming to the edge or water surface of the pondprawns demonstrating unusual swimming patternsreduced feeding and failure to thriveAnyone who suspects a disease on their property must report it to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

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