Survey finds no signs of white spot in Redland prawns and worms, says Biosecurity Queensland

RESEARCH by Biosecurity Queensland scientists shows no trace of white spot disease in south-east Queensland, more than two-and-a-half years since the virus devastated prawn farms on the Logan River.

SEARCH GOES ON: No signs of white spot have been found in Moreton Bay prawns and worms.

SEARCH GOES ON: No signs of white spot have been found in Moreton Bay prawns and worms.

Prawn and worm samples taken from a number of locations within Moreton Bay, Logan and Brisbane Rivers all returned negative results.

This is the second consecutive surveillance round conducted by Biosecurity Queensland which has returned negative results for the virus that causes white spot.

White spot disease is a highly contagious viral infection that affects crustaceans, prawns and crabs, but they are safe to eat.

It was thought the disease was introduced to local waters through amateur fishermen using imported supermarket seafood as bait.

In order for Queensland, and Australia, to be declared free of white spot disease, two years of consecutive negative results are needed.

Additional biosecurity measures are in place on the Logan prawn farms where white spot disease was first detected.

A spokesperson said line fishing was not permitted around the prawn farm inlet and outlet channels and this will remain in place.

"Movement restrictions will also remain in place for raw prawns, yabbies and marine worms in south-east Queensland to reduce the risk of spreading the disease," the spokesperson said.

Surveillance for white spot disease will continue with another three rounds of surveillance planned between now and next year.

An outbreak previously has occurred at Darwin Harbour but not signs of the disease have been seen there for years.