Disease incidents do occur within Australia. Fortunately, there are procedures in place which aim to minimise the effects of disease incursions on Australia’s aquatic animals. When a disease outbreak occurs, Commonwealth, state and territory governments use these procedures to coordinate an appropriate response.
Information gathered during disease outbreaks provides a valuable resource for the identification of future risks to both wild and cultured aquatic animals in Australia.
Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome
Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) is a syndrome of increased mortality in farmed triploid Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). The disease was reported from the Georges River, New South Wales, in late 2010. The syndrome was also detected in Port Jackson (Parramatta River) in early 2011 in wild Pacific oysters. Ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant (OsHV-1 µvar) was the disease agent identified in association with the mortalities. Testing has confirmed continued presence of the virus in the Georges River estuary in 2012. An outbreak of POMS in the Hawkesbury River in NSW was detected in January 2013.
For more information on management arrangements for this disease, refer to the NSW DPI website.
Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis
Abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG) was first reported in parts of western Victoria in farmed abalone in 2005 and in wild abalone in 2006. The disease, which had not been reported in Australia previously, was eliminated from farmed abalone, but is now considered endemic in some wild abalone populations in the state. The disease has also been reported from live abalone in processing facilities in Tasmania, but has never been reported in wild abalone in Tasmania.