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Tasmania Panics as Abalone Virus Surfaces

AUSTRALIA - The deadly abalone virus has been found in Tasmania; the largest wild abalone fishery in the world.

The same virus that devastated Victoria's abalone industry was discovered at a processing plant in the state's South-East showed signs of the disease Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis, authorities said yesterday.

According to Mercury, Tasmanian Abalone Council president Greg Woodham said two abalone had tested positive for the virus.

The Department of Primary Industries and Water called Mr Woodham to a meeting yesterday for a briefing on the situation.

He said the industry could not afford to panic and would wait on more results.

Mercury reports that samples of the diseased tissue have been sent from Tasmania to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong for further analysis.

Tasmania's wild abalone fishery is the biggest in the world, with about 25 per cent of the global annual harvest.