Border ban aims to keep disease out

New restrictions on the movement of abalone have come into effect to protect South Australia’s fishing and aquaculture industry from an outbreak of abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG) in Victoria and New South Wales.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said restrictions on fresh abalone products coming into South Australia from interstate have been introduced to keep South Australian waters free of this abalone killing virus. “AVG is caused by an abalone virus which affects the animal’s nervous system causing weakness and eventually death,” Minister Basham said.

“While this disease does not impact on human health, it can be devastating to wild and farmed abalone stocks. “The new controls restrict the movement into South Australia of both live and fresh abalone product from interstate and follow recent detections of AVG at Cape Nelson in Victoria and in some New South Wales abalone processors.

“AVG has never been recorded in South Australia and the tough new restrictions are aimed at protecting South Australia’s $43m abalone industry.”

AVG is a notifiable disease and must be reported. “We want to remind all recreational and commercial divers and fishers, particularly those who are active in the South East waters near the Victorian border, that if they notice anything suspicious in abalone particularly any mortalities, to immediately contact the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 065 522,” Minister Basham said.

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