White Spot is lethal to prawns and has wiped millions of dollars from Queensland’s seafood industry. File picture
White Spot is lethal to prawns and has wiped millions of dollars from Queensland’s seafood industry. File picture

New outbreak of deadly prawn virus

ANOTHER outbreak of the deadly white spot virus has been discovered in southeast Queensland.

The disease is harmless to humans but lethal to prawns and wiped out millions of dollars from the state's seafood industry when it was detected in the Logan River in 2016.

University of the Sunshine Coast Professor Wayne Knibb tested samples from prawns being sold in southeast Queensland supermarkets and found about 30 per cent tested positive to white spot.

The discovery is sure to alarm prawn farms in the region, which suffered multimillion-dollar wipe-outs two years ago.

Professor Knibb said the fact his study was based on a small sample size was further cause for concern.

"Clearly, if we can find in a very limited sample 30 per cent of samples that were in the history connected or in contact with the virus, then clearly we're playing with fire here," he said.

ABC's 4 Corners program will run a detailed report on the latest outbreak on tonight's show as well as revelations some rseafood importers have been deliberately evading Ausrtalia's biosecurity provisions.


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