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Ganglioneuritis Fears for Abalone Industry

AUSTRALIA - Australia's abalone industry is becoming increasingly concerned about deadly shellfish virus could infect Tasmanian and South Australian waters within months.

Reports from Tasmania suggest that the ganglioneuritis virus has moved 20 kilometres along the Victorian coastline towards Port Philip Bay. Tasmania's Abalone Council is calling for a ban on human activity on stretches of the Victorian coastline, says ABC News.

Dean Lisson from the Tasmanian Abalone Council says the virus is spreading fast and there is every chance that it will arrive in South Australia, if not Tasmania within the next few months.

"We can sit back and wait for the disease to spread and of course if we do nothing that's exactly what's going to happen. If there is some doubt about the effectiveness of quarantining of some sections of the Victorian coastline that they should try it they should agree to try it we're asking for a relatively small section of the coastline," she said.

Mr Lisson is critical of Victoria's Government for failing to act and he has called for a trial of a ban on human activity. He has called it incompetent having also failed to phase out the dumping of effluent from aquaculture facilities.

Fisheries Victoria says an earlier attempt to isolate the virus was unsuccessful.

View the ABC story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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