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Uncertainty for Queensland’s Shrimp Farmers


One year ago Ian Rossman received the news no shrimp farmer ever wants to hear—his farm was infected with the whitespot virus.


Overnight, his family’s future changed irrevocably.


Instead of spending the next month harvesting his crop ahead of the lucrative Christmas market, he watched as biosecurity authorities killed his shrimp and emptied his contaminated ponds.  Rossman and his brother Geoff have opted not to re-stock when the fallow period ends next year because they consider the risks are too great.  The extra biosecurity measures needed on the farm, including bird and crab netting, drum filtering and ozonating every drop of water, would cost at least $1 million and provide no guarantee against future outbreaks.  And in contrast to this whitespot outbreak, shrimp farmers would bear the full cost of any future decontamination and de-stocking effort.


“The way forward is a very expensive one,” Rossman said.  “The unfortunate part about this is we can spend all this effort and money on biosecuring the farm, and we can still succumb to whitespot again.  We’re not confident it’s completely eradicated from the wild.”


Source: ABC.NET.AU.  Logan River Prawn Farmers Face Uncertain Future With No Guarantee White Spot Disease Won’t Strike Again.  Charlie McKillop and Jennifer Nichols.  November 29, 2017.


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