Review of the biosecurity risks for prawns

​We have started a review of the biosecurity risks posed by the importation into Australia (from all countries) of non-viable, whole, farm-sourced, uncooked prawns intended for human consumption.

Steps to complete this review

To review the biosecurity risks we will:

  • review the science on pests and diseases of concern to prawns
  • review, assess and analyse the previous policy and determine if the biosecurity risks have changed
  • recommend new or alternative risk management measures, if required
  • consult stakeholders on the draft report and then consider the comments
  • publish a final report
  • develop import conditions
  • publish import conditions in our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

About the risk analysis

During this risk analysis we will:

  • assess the biosecurity risks associated with the import (from all countries) of non-viable, whole, farm-sourced, uncooked prawns for human consumption
  • recommend appropriate risk management measures to manage the biosecurity risks
  • undertake the process in accordance with our international obligations.

Current import conditions for prawns and prawn products remain in place pending the outcomes of this review. During this time, if the biosecurity risks change, we may amend the relevant import conditions.

Learn more about why we carry out risk analyses and our international obligations.

Communication and consultation

We have notified stakeholders that the review has started. We have put in place a Prawn Review Liaison Officer (PRLO) and undertaken a number of consultation and communication activities.

We are committed to ongoing communication and consultation with all stakeholders throughout the process of the review.

Prawn Review Liaison Officer

The PRLO will be in place for the duration of the review and is the first point of contact to discuss the review.

A PRLO update newsletter is provided to subscribed stakeholders on a periodic basis. It includes updates and relevant information about the review.

Anyone can request the PRLO update newsletter by contacting the PRLO at Prawn Review.

Availability of the hazard table for stakeholders

April 2019

We have completed the Draft hazard identification table (hazard table) for the review. The hazard table lists identified potential hazards of prawns and categorises them as a ‘hazard’ which is subject to a risk assessment, or ‘not a hazard’ and no further assessment is done for that pathogen.

The hazard table was peer reviewed by two leading experts in infectious diseases of crustaceans. We have considered the reviewers’ comments and are confident that the outcomes of the hazard identification are scientifically justified and consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

The hazard table is available by contacting the PRLO at Prawn Review.

Scientific submissions on prawn import conditions

March 2018

We invited scientific submissions on specific issues with:

  • Australia's current prawn import conditions
  • the Final generic import risk analysis report for prawns and prawn products 2009 (Prawn IRA).

The scientific information provided in the submissions was taken into account in the hazard identification, and is being considered while conducting the risk assessments.

Download submissions

Roundtable discussion

February 2018

We hosted a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders in Canberra. Affected stakeholders, from all stakeholder groups attended.

This was an opportunity to:

  • discuss the risk analysis and future direction of the review
  • ask questions
  • hear differing views
  • voice concerns.

Download the roundtable summary

DocumentPagesFile size
Prawn roundtable meeting Feb 2018 - Summary report PDF 19984 KB
Prawn roundtable meeting Feb 2018 - Summary report DOCX 19702 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, contact us for help.

New scientific information

Risk analyses are based on available information and existing science.

You can provide us with new scientific information at any time, even after a risk analysis is completed. New scientific information can be sent to the PRLO at Prawn Review.

Next steps

We are now progressing risk assessments for each pathogenic agent identified as a hazard during the hazard identification process.

We are also working on surveys to gather scientifically robust national level data about the use of prawns for bait and berley in Australia. The results of the bait and berley surveys are integral to the risk assessment. The results will also be used for consideration of certain risk management measures.

The release of the draft report will be impacted by the timeframes it takes to get a full data set from the national bait and berley surveys.

Due to the complexity of the issue and the expected timeframes for completion of the surveys, it is anticipated that we will be seeking feedback from stakeholders on the draft report in mid-2020.

Contact us

To contact us about the review, email the PRLO at Prawn Review.

Register as a stakeholder

Register as a stakeholder to receive notices about animal biosecurity policy.