Identifying and reporting disease in aquaculture

Restrictions have been imposed on the Logan and Albert rivers following the detection of white spot disease in prawns. Find out more information and report anything unusual to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

It's important to report any significant fish diseases and deaths as soon as possible. This allows for early confirmation, management and containment of any serious pathogens that could have widespread and detrimental effects on the industry and the natural environment.

Who is responsible for reporting disease?

The holder of the aquaculture development approval or permit holder is responsible for contacting Fisheries Queensland or a Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officer if there is a disease, or suspected disease, in their ponds, tanks or hatcheries.

You must also notify Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23 of a disease if there are any unusual deaths in conjunction with any 2 of the following:

  • animals coming to the edge or water surface of the pond, tank or cage
  • animals demonstrating unusual swimming patterns
  • reduced feeding and failure to thrive
  • unusual changes in the physical appearance of the animal such as red or black colouration of prawn, ulcers or mouldy growth on skin, blackening of skin, pop eye, erosion of fins and tails, fouling of gills.

After you notify Fisheries Queensland or a QBFP officer of a disease outbreak or possible outbreak, they will determine an appropriate course of action (e.g. site inspection, sample collection).

Fisheries Queensland offers a free laboratory diagnostic service when investigating a disease or mortality incident on your farm. If you simply require health testing, there is a fee for this service.

Who do I contact to report a disease?

Michael Heidenreich
Senior industry development officer
Northern Fisheries Centre
Fisheries Queensland
PO Box 5396
Phone: (07) 4057 3795
Mobile: 0428 878 552
Fax: (07) 4057 3811

Alternatively you can contact your local QBFP office.

Managing a disease outbreak

If you suspect a disease outbreak, there are steps you can take to limit the spread of the disease and protect healthy animals. As well as advising Fisheries Queensland of a disease, you should:

  • isolate any animals showing signs of disease or infestation in separate ponds and tanks
  • quarantine all equipment from other ponds and tanks
  • prevent birds, animals, vehicles and humans from spreading disease through the farm
  • tend to healthy animals each day before you have any contact with sick ones
  • collect specimens of affected aquatic animals for laboratory examination
  • safely dispose of diseased and dead animals, and effluent water.

Also consider...


General enquiries 13 25 23