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Authorities say no sign of lethal abalone virus in Tas

AUSTRALIA - Tasmania's aquaculture industry says there is no reason to panic about the discovery of a lethal virus in Victoria's abalone stock, which causes paralysis and death.

Victoria has closed four abalone farms and made off-limits a 10-kilometre stretch of coastline to divers, after the ganglioneuritis virus was found in wild and farmed stock.

Tasmanian Aquaculture Council (TAC) spokesman Colin Dyke says there is no sign of the virus in Tasmania, but the industry cannot afford to be complacent.

He says in parts of Asia the virus has been devastating.

"I visited one premises in China back in the mid-90s where they were the largest producer of aquaculture abalone in China - that operation no longer exists," he said.

State Primary Industries Minister David Llewellyn says the Tasmanian Government is ready to help out if needed.

"There's no reason for panic, but we we we've got to be aware, and we've got to be conscious of the problems," he said.

Source: ABC Online