Local News

Imported Bait Poses Risk To NT Seafood Industry

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The Northern Territory Seafood Council is organising a meeting to bring key stakeholders together in a fortnight’s time to better understand the risks posed to Territory resources from imported bait.

‘Northern Territory Seafood Council hosted a biosecurity information session with Animal Health Australia in May during which our members raised serious concerns about some imported raw seafood products being used for bait,’ said Northern Territory Seafood Council Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Katherine Winchester.

‘The use of uncooked imported seafood products, or products not meant to be used as fishing bait poses significant risk to the environment through the potential introduction of diseases, or viruses.

‘Initial concerns raised at the biosecurity information session were focussed on imported products being used as bait for recreational fishing and the lack of availability of local bait supply for commercial fishing operations.

‘It is important that we all take united and informed approach which is why we are inviting key stakeholders including NT Government, Animal Health Australia, Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT, NT Guided Fishing Industry Association and Land Councils to join us this month in a meeting to better understand the risk, gaps and loopholes,’ said Mrs Winchester.

‘I am very pleased to see Northern Territory Seafood Council so responsive to raised biosecurity concerns from its industry members and be proactive in gathering stakeholders together to discuss the issues and hopefully come to some positive resolutions and outcomes,’ said Northern Australia Animal Health Australia, Aquatic Biosecurity Liaison Officer, Ms Helen Jenkins.

‘It is fantastic to be part of the discussions and I look forward to hearing more from the various attendees. We are continuously reminded that biosecurity is everybody’s responsibility and we all have a role to play and that role needs to be proactive,’ Ms Jenkins said.

‘The impacts of White Spot disease and its detection in Queensland in late 2016 are still being felt across the seafood industry. We need to ensure a co-ordinated approach is taken to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases here in the Northern Territory,’ Mrs Winchester stated.

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