Prawn Superpowers Summit - enhancing awareness of emergency aquatic animal disease response arrangements for the Australian prawn farming industry
Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA)
Matt A. Landos
The Australian prawn farming sector is a significant contributor to regional economies, particularly in Queensland. The viability of the industry is contingent on maintaining its relatively disease-free status with respect to major viral diseases which have been documented to cause wide-spread losses in shrimp culture internationally. Ongoing vigilance is essential to ensure that Australia does not become another of the countries to become infected by important viruses such as white spot. Industry awareness is acknowledged as a key component of the passive surveillance for exotic diseases. The workshop will assist in raising the awareness of the risks, and the processes which are in place to prevent, and control emergency diseases should they occur. The workshop will provide an opportunity for industry to identify any improvements in the current system and communicate these issues to Government agencies. There has been widespread, severe outbreaks of WSSV internationally this year. 24 April 2011 - Saudi Arabia 23 September 2011 - Mozambique 3 October 2011 - Mexico 30th November - Brazil 4 December 2011 - Saudi Arabia - Jazan The above combined with a Biosecurity breach September 2010, where a shipment of prawns infected with WSSV were mistakenly released into the market place - means that prawn farmers must be ever vigilant in ensuring that our industry remains free from WSSV and other exotic and domestic diseases.
1. Raise awareness of prawn diseases and emerging disease risks entering Australia
2. Identify and understand the processes in place to respond to emergency diseases should they occur
3. Indentify any improvements in the current system and communicate these issues to industry and Government agencies
4. Working together to ensure preparedness to respond to disease risks in Australia
The Australian prawn farming sector provides significant income to regional economies, particularly parts of Queensland. The entrance of an exotic disease can potentially cripple the industry. Hence, it is prudent to reduce the risks of disease incursion domestically and on-farm.
Since 2010, a number of disease outbreaks have been reported within the prawn farming industry in South-East Asia. This highlights the importance of biosecurity (the practice of disease prevention and management) within the industry. The summit assisted in raising awareness of exotic diseases and strategies to prevent and control emergency disease events.
Engagement of the industry for on-going disease surveillance is important. The summit provided further education to improve current practices on-farm to aid in disease surveillance. As the project had an interactive framework, it encouraged industry to help identify areas of improvement in the current system.
The summit was run on the 31st July 2012, and provided a platform for the collaboration of government workers, farmers, researchers and industry. Approximately 35 people were in attendance for the biosecurity summit, and were provided with case studies and examples of the consequence of emergency aquatic animal disease outbreaks suffered by international industry. The necessity of disease prevention was the focus throughout the summit as the limitations of treatment and control were detailed. Applied prevention measures for Australian farms were highlighted.
Keywords: Prawn Superpowers Summit; aquatic animal diseases.