Biosecurity alert: White spot disease in prawns

White spot disease has been detected on prawn farms near Brisbane, southeast Queensland. This disease has not been detected in the Northern Territory.

White spot disease is a highly contagious viral infection that affects crustaceans. This disease does not pose a threat to human health or food safety but poses a major threat to the Australian aquaculture farms and native crustaceans.

Local controls in Queensland are in place to prevent white spot disease spreading. The white spot virus has also been found in imported green (uncooked) prawns. The support of all Territorians is also needed to prevent the disease from entering the Northern Territory:

  • don’t use prawns intended for human consumption as bait
  • check bait prawns for signs of white spot disease
  • never dispose of prawns sold for human consumption in or near waterways.

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

Find out what to do if you think that you have seen or found white spot disease.

For further information about the outbreak in Queensland, visit the outbreak website or Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

More information about the import suspension is available from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
By working together to safeguard biosecurity we can ensure healthy Northern Territory waterways that we can all enjoy.

Don’t use prawns intended for human consumption as bait
Don’t use prawns intended for human consumption as bait