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Abalone industry welcomes Govt money to fight virus

AUSTRALIA - Victoria's abalone industry wants to see the detail of the Federal Government's funding and emergency task force that was announced yesterday. The Government is promising $100-thousand( Aus) for research into the herpes-like virus that is killing thousands of abalone.

The virus is spreading along Victoria's south west coastline, as far west a Deception Bay near Portland and east to a reef in the Bay of Islands near Port Campbell.

The South Australian and Tasmanian abalone industries are worried the virus will enter their waters and have joined calls for Federal intervention. The industry has been critical of the Victorian Government's response to the virus.

Vincent Gannon of the Victorian Abalone Divers Association says the federal intervention is welcome. But he wants to see details of the task force.

"It would be good to see who is on the task force and what's being done about the taskforce. But certainly we're welcoming intervention," he said. "I think aquaculture in the marine environment and diseases in the marine environment have to have a national focus because it's so hard to control once the diseases are in the wild," he said.

Mr. Gannon says it is a good idea to examine biosecurity on a national level.

Source: ABC News

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