White Spot disease was detected on prawn farms in Queensland in 2016. Because this disease is currently NOT in WA, restrictions apply to imports of live or uncooked crustaceans or parts of crustaceans of the order Decapoda or polychaete worms from Queensland.
The import of any prawns, parts of prawns or polychaete worms must be compliant with import requirements under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.
Prawns with white spot 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.
A widespread outbreak of white spot would have a significant impact on the Australian aquaculture industry as well as trade implications and environmental and social impacts.
In prawn farm operations white spot can result in 100% mortality within a few days of the onset of visible signs of the disease.
White spot could pose a serious threat to WA’s freshwater and marine crustaceans in both farmed and wild fisheries including crabs, lobster and marron.
This disease does not pose a threat to human health or food safety.
What you can do
Recreational fishers are encouraged to check their bait for signs of white spot.
If you think you have found or seen white spot:
- Photograph it – from different angles and the bag the prawns were purchased in.
- Record it – make a note of when and where you purchased the prawns including the producer’s name, the trade or common name of the prawns and where the prawns came from.
- Collect it – keep the whole bag of prawns and refrigerate or freeze it and do not use it as bait.
- Report it – contact the FishWatch 24 hour hotline on 1800 815 507.
For more information about the response to the incident in Queensland:
- White spot FAQs
- Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website
- Fisheries Division - DPIRD, WA
- Outbreak website
- Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources white spot information sheet
The below Import requirements for crustaceans of the order Decapoda and polychaete worms of the class Polychaeta are published in the Quarantine WA Import Requirements manual.
Live or uncooked crustaceans of the order Decapoda, including but not limited to lobster, crayfish, prawns, shrimp, crabs, Moreton Bay Bugs and yabbies.
The crustaceans or parts of crustaceans
If produced by aquaculture in QLD or NSW, the crustaceans or parts of crustaceans
If taken from the waters of QLD, the crustaceans or parts of crustaceans are accompanied by a statutory declaration, made by a representative of a business approved by the Deputy Director General of the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Sustainability and Biosecurity, for the purposes of this requirement, stating that the crustaceans or parts of crustaceans have been consigned by that business and:
The crustaceans or parts of crustaceans have been
Polychaete worms - worms of the class Polychaeta
The polychaete worms