OceanWatch Australia works with the seafood industry and the community to ensure Australia’s marine environment is healthy, productive, valued and used in a responsible way.

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Waging the war against White Spot


With 2137 km of Coast line ahead of him and a passion for protecting our wild catch fisheries, Michael our program manager has been working with the Professional Fishermens Association (PFA), Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Aquatic Biosecurity to help stop the spread of White Spot (WS).

Seven prawns farm in south east Queensland were positively confirmed as infected with white spot syndrome virus between November 2016 and February 2017.

Further testing by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries positively identified a small number of crustaceans in the wild (Logan River and Moreton Bay) with white spot, including prawn, mud crab and shore crab.

Following positive identification of white spot disease in wild crustaceans, OceanWatch Australia (OWA) and the Professional Fishermen’s Association (PFA) decided time was of the essence, initiating structured communication with NSW professional fishers, with financial support from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Port Visits

The Professional Fishermens Association, through funding from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, engaged the services of OceanWatch Australia to complete an industry port visit during April 2017.

The port visits involved individual and/or group meetings , with key and interested north coast ocean and estuary based professional fishers, NSW Fishermen’s Co-operative General Managers, NSW DPI Group Director Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture, NSW DPI Fisheries Aquatic Biosecurity, NSW DPI Fisheries Managers, PFA and the Australian Government Sustainable Agriculture Facilitator.

In total, 135 professional fishermen where directly engaged and communicated with during the port visits. All fishers were invited to provide feedback on their thoughts regarding WSD, and to discuss particular issues that they believe needs attention, and to ask any questions regarding WSD they would like to have more information about.

This link provides a summation of industry thoughts and questions through digital video recordings.

Newsletter archives:

February Newsletter 2017 March Newsletter 2017 April Newsletter 2017 May Newsletter 2017 June Newsletter 2017

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