THREE south-east Queensland prawn farmers devastated by white spot disease are celebrating their first prawn harvest since returning to production.
The farms have lain fallow for more than a year after the exotic white spot disease was found in their ponds along the Logan River.
The disease found widely across Asia was thought to have been introduced in 2016 by amateur fishers using supermarket chain imported seafood products as bait.
Biosecurity measures introduced include water filtering systems, crab fencing, modified farm layouts and fishing restrictions imposed around the farms.
Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture began production last week and general manager Alistair Dick said the harvest was looking good.
He said there was a reasonable level of confidence and it looked like it would be a good crop.
The farm would produce up to 500 tonnes of prawns between now and May.
A Biosecurity Queensland spokesman said more than $15 million was spent eradicating white spot and a further $2 million would be spent over the next year.
Movement restrictions are still in place for raw prawns sourced from South East Queensland waterways. Fishing restrictions are also in place around the prawn farms on the Logan River.
The next round of surveillance in Moreton Bay, Logan and Brisbane Rivers and from Caloundra to Cairns starts this month.
A survey was conducted in August but no marine life was found to have white spot syndrome virus.
In all, seven prawn farms were closed down by the disease outbreak and 10 million prawns destroyed. That included the disposal of valuable breeding stock, in the attempt to eliminate the calamitous disease.
The Queensland Seafood Industry Association and Biosecurity Queensland have developed a video explaining how biosecurity works via animation.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.