Remember to be a mate these school holidays and check your bait

News release | 18-Sep-2018

If you are heading off on a relaxing holiday and intend to do a spot of fishing over the next few weeks then there are a few things you can do to help protect our pristine waterways from exotic diseases.

It is still unclear exactly how white spot disease entered into South East Queensland, however evidence so far suggests that the likely pathway was through imported prawns being used as bait. 

That is why Acting Chief Biosecurity Officer, Malcolm Letts, is urging fishers to be a mate and check your bait before you throw a line in.

“There are just a few simple steps that every fisher can take to ensure our waterways are kept free of disease. Firstly, wait until you’ve reached your destination and get your bait from a local bait shop or catch your own,” Mr Letts said.

“Imported prawns purchased from the supermarket are too risky to be used as bait as they may contain disease such as white spot disease, and as we have seen already, they can have a devastating effect on our seafood industry as well as our environment.

“Also, if you are fishing within the white spot movement restriction area, which runs from Caloundra to the New South Wales border and west to Ipswich, then you must remember not to take prawns, yabbies or marine worms caught in the area, outside of the area,” Mr Letts said.

“Bait purchased within the movement restriction area cannot be taken outside the area either. These rules are in place to stop the spread of white spot disease to other non-affected areas.

“Our last round of surveillance in April showed that white spot disease is still prevalent in the Moreton Bay region, especially around Redcliffe Peninsula and Deception Bay. Therefore, we must do everything we can to ensure it does not spread,” Mr Letts said.

For more information about white spot disease or view any maps of the white spot restriction area, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au/wsd

Media contact: Maria Hauff, 3087 8833