Flaws in biosecurity put South East prawning industries at risk

The Beagle Editor,

I was shocked to find raw green prawns from China for sale in a South Coast supermarket.

This is high risk for our prawn industry, due to potential contamination of our estuaries with various diseases such as white spot in prawns.

It is cheaper to buy a few of these prawns at the supermarket for bait, rather than Australian bait, put some on a hook and throw into a waterway for fishing. There is a sign on the price label "not to be used as bait”, which is absurd if this is what our government Quarantine Authority considers front-line defence in biosecurity for Australian waterways.

The useless sign also gives people the idea of using the prawns as bait. Freezing or chilling any meat product does not kill viruses or bacteria; they just go to sleep and wake up in one of our rivers ready to multiply and contaminate local marine life.

There has already been expensive closures of prawn farms on the North Coast due to white spot disease. It is especially dangerous to our agricultural industry to import any raw meat/egg/dairy product (also fruit and vegetables).

Our government has a vital role to protect Australian agriculture rather than the profits of foreign export corporations. I have contacted federal and state MPs requesting an immediate ban on the import of green prawns.

Gary Smith Moruya

Above: Garry Smith talking about imported green prawns and their risk to local prawning industries

#Opinion #Paper #BatemansBay #Moruya #Narooma


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