TO ensure the ongoing health of Queensland’s extraordinary marine habitat and to protect local industries, Biosecurity Queensland is urging fishers to ‘Be a mate, and check your bait’.
It is really important that fishers only use the right bait in the form of Australian wild-caught prawns from a quality bait supplier or catch their own bait. Imported prawns could potentially introduce serious diseases into Australian waterways and as we have seen with white spot disease, these diseases can have devastating consequences. It is not yet known how the white spot virus was introduced into Queensland, however a possible pathway for disease to enter our waterways is through imported prawns bought from the supermarket and used as bait.
If you are planning to use prawns, marine worms or yabbies as bait, catch your own or make sure your bait is Australian wild-caught from a quality bait supplier because using imported raw prawns as bait may introduce diseases into our natural waterways. Also, make sure you properly dispose of unwanted and uncooked bait, seafood and prawn waste in the bin and not into waterways. Lastly, it is illegal to move raw prawns, worms and yabbies out of the white spot disease restricted area in southeast Queensland.
Catching fresh bait is a great way to improve your chances of enticing fish and can be a fun activity for the whole family. The fresher the bait, the more appealing it is to fish. Have a look at some tips for catching your own bait at daf.qld.gov.au/checkyourbait
If you buy or catch prawns or crustaceans that you think may have white spot disease, report it immediately by contacting Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or via the online reporting form at daf.qld.gov.au/wsd – you can also find out more information about white spot here and view a map of the movement restricted area.