Project number: 2012-044
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $51,847.02
Principal Investigator: Shane D. Roberts
Organisation: Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA)
Project start/end date: 2 Sep 2012 - 10 Sep 2013


Exercise Sea Fox is scheduled to commence 23 October 2012, initially as a pre-planned State focussed aquatic disease outbreak exercise. The objective of requesting funding from FRDC is to elevate the exercise to a national focus.

Emergency response arrangements and exercising these arrangements for an aquatic disease outbreak is at the core of disease prevention and management. Aquatic diseases that are of high priority and threaten the sustainability of Australian aquaculture industries include: Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) and Abalone Viral ganglioneuritis (AVG). POMS is a high priority disease particularly for SA, NSW and TAS.

Government and industry have state and national obligations for responding to biosecurity incursions. The emergency response framework includes OIE manuals, AQUAVETPLAN manuals, State legislation and emergency management plans. Readiness requires on-going training and exercises to maintain preparedness for an incursion. The need for an aquatic disease exercise has been highlighted at both State and National levels.

Aquaculture industry awareness and training has previously been identified as a gap in biosecurity emergency response preparedness. It has also been recognised that other sectors within government are not familiar with the obligations and needs of an aquatic animal emergency disease response.

Exercise Sea Fox will include national (SA, NSW and Tas) participation from both government (including DAFF) and industry bodies. The exercise will test State and national arrangements. Although this exercise will be based within SA, State emergency response frameworks are based on international and national guidelines.

Both government and industry are on a heightened state of alert where early detection and rapid emergency response is vital for effective control and containment of significant disease outbreaks.


1. Raise awareness within government and industry of national and state emergency management obligations.
2. Provide government and industry personnel with an opportunity to develop and practice skills and procedures when responding to an emergency aquatic animal disease
3. Develop knowledge within government of the aquatic industry
4. Identify gaps in national, State and industry’s aquatic response frameworks

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9807387-7-3
Author: Shane Roberts

Related research