Collation of white spot syndrome virus testing from wild-caught re-imported prawns
Koopman Family Trust
Wild caught prawns that are re-imported into Australia are required to be tested for white spot syndrome virus, the virus that causes WSD. Examination of these data could reveal if any positive test results have been recorded to date.
1. Summarise available white spot syndrome virus testing data from wild-caught re-imported prawns
Principal Investigator: Matt Koopman
White Spot Disease (WSD) was observed on an Australian prawn farm on 22nd November 2016, and officially diagnosed for the first time on 1 December 2016 (Stephens, 20171). During December and January, the disease spread through a number of prawn farms along the Logan River, Queensland. This detection had a wide range of implications affecting aquaculture, wild harvest and recreational sectors, importation of raw prawns and the bait trade. There is potential for long-term effect from a loss of confidence of consumers of Australian seafood, a lack of confidence in investment in the industry, and expensive capital improvements to enhance biosecurity of all Australian prawn farms (Stephens, 20171).
Wild caught prawns that are re-imported into Australia are required to be tested for white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), the virus that causes WSD. Examination of these data could reveal if any positive test results have been recorded to date.
Advanced Analytical Australia Pty Ltd (AAA) undertakes routine testing for the largest re-importers of wild-caught prawns in Australia. Raw WSSV testing results since 1 January 2012 were requested from AAA, and consent for release of the data was provided by three prawn companies. AAA extracted the data from the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) on 27 April 2017, and provided it on the same day. Results of yellow head virus (YHV) testing were also provided and are presented here.
Data were checked for obvious errors, resulting in the change of the year of testing of one batch of WSSV test results and one batch of YHV test results from the obviously erroneous 2105 to 2015 (the correct year was obvious given the date of other batches from the same consignment). Data were pooled across companies. Each company was contacted to request the original source of wild caught prawns. The fisheries from which prawns were caught were identified for two of the companies (either the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), or the Spencer Gulf Prawn Fishery (SGPF)), however the third could not distinguish between testing results of re-imported prawns from the NPF and from wild caught prawns caught either in the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery or overseas. That company did confirm however that the majority of re-imported prawns were caught in the NPF (industry contact, pers. comm.).
There were no positive WSSV or YHV test results in the data provided by Advanced Analytical Australia Pty Ltd, which represents testing of wild caught prawns that were re-imported into Australia by three different companies