Caution needed – paua disease on our doorstep

Date: 1/2/2008

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) urges travellers to Australia to be mindful of a serious virus destroying abalone there (see October/November 2007 issue #102) and to take precautions to avoid carrying it back to infect New Zealand paua. ‘Clean and dry’ is the best way to protect New Zealand paua, say MAFBNZ officials, as the virus appears to survive in damp gear. While it’s not certain the herpes-like virus would affect New Zealand paua, there’s every indication it would, given paua is a member of the abalone family. If it established in New Zealand it would have a severe impact on commercial, customary and recreational fishing as well as tourism and export industries associated with paua. MAFBNZ has strict border measures in place to prevent the virus jumping the Tasman and establishing in New Zealand shellfish. These include aquaculture implements, diving and fishing gear to be clean and dry before it can enter New Zealand. For further information, please contact:

info@maf.govt.nz

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