Project number: 2023-026
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $61,330.00
Principal Investigator: Brendan D. Cowled
Organisation: AusVet Pty Ltd
Project start/end date: 1 Oct 2023 - 29 Feb 2024


SRL industry has been buffeted by various issues in recent years, associated with COVID-19, trading partner non-tariff trade barriers (ostensibly biosecurity or food safety based) and repeated harmful algal blooms (HAB). In particular, HAB remain an ongoing threat, for example with range expansion of Alexandrium tamarense/warming climate, resulting in repeated closures of the east-coat Tasmanian SRL fishery. Other regions of Australia may also face an increased risk of HAB. In addition, access to alternative markets with new sanitary and food safety requirements adds biosecurity and sanitary complexity.

Nearly every animal sector that is involved in harvest (e.g. fisheries) or production has seen rapid change associated with external factors such as spread of invasive species and pests, diseases (both emerging and introduced/exotic) and global issues such as climate change. For example, the
Australian Prawn industry has been damaged by emergence and repeated outbreaks of White Spot Syndrome Virus in Australia. Ausvet has recently modelled surveillance data for WSSV on behalf of FRDC and the Australian Prawn Farmers Association and it is clear that WSSV has the potential to spread further south. WSSV affects most crustaceans, although SRL may only be vectors and not show clinical disease. Regardless, such issues can become trade barriers.

Thus, the SRL industry has a need to understand biosecurity risks and how these relate to the ability to harvest, sustain a productive fishery or trade globally. Understanding biosecurity risks are the key building blocks for biosecurity planning which has become an essential part of protecting animal production in Australia and globally, across terrestrial and aquaculture systems. This project will inform biosecurity planning for SRL fisheries. This project concentrates on assisting the broader SRL industry to identify and prioritise emerging, future or existing risks. In addition, it will identify industry capacity and barriers to managing risks. This information can then be used during future industry-wide biosecurity planning.


1. Enable improved biosecurity planning within the Southern Rock Lobster industry

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