White spot syndrome virus has a very wide host range and can infect any crustacea. This includes crabs, prawns and lobsters, both freshwater and marine. Already it’s having devastating a effect.
This exotic disease outbreak can be likened to foot-and-mouth disease arriving in Australia. FMD virus also has a very wide host range, and is capable of causing disease in all cloven-hoofed animals which includes cattle, sheep, pigs, deer and goats. This would seriously affect the pork, dairy, sheep, wool and beef industries, and exports of these products.
In the article by the Guardian, it predicts prawn fishers would lose 30% of their income, especially after wild prawns taken from the Logan river, south of Brisbane, have tested positive.
To date, three of the eight land-based farms in the region. Unfortunately, unlike land based farming of sheep, cattle and pigs, there is currently no industry or government to help farmers that have been affected by this disastrous disease.
It is more than highly unfortunate. For the future of all the aquatic farmers the aquaculture sector really needs to stop reinventing the wheel, and to quickly replicate all the policies and procedures that are currently in place for the more mature terrestrial farming industry. And i cannot stress enough, there needs to be more veterinary input in aquaculture sectors. Together, we can help this industry recover from such disasters and help it to thrive.
Dr Richmond Loh
DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics& Pathobiology), CertAqV, NATA Signatory.
Aquatic Veterinarian & Veterinary Pathologist.
PERTH | MELBOURNE | SYDNEY | TOWNSVILLE
THE FISH VET – AUSTRALIA.