A mobile application that will strengthen Australia’s capability to manage and respond to significant aquatic animal disease incidents has been released by the Australian Government.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the application allowed industry to be better informed on aquatic diseases of significance for Australia and provided a faster system to report incidents to the relevant authorities.
“Australia’s relative freedom from a range of pests and diseases constitutes one of our most valuable assets in the fishing and aquaculture industries,” Minister Ruston said.
“We’re always working to strengthen the way we manage biosecurity risks.
“Our fisheries and aquaculture sectors are important for Australia—valued at $2.8 billion and supporting jobs, regional communities and food security.
“Exotic pests and diseases can seriously impact on the productivity of our industries. They have the potential to damage market access for our fisheries and aquaculture industry and significantly increase production costs for farmers.
“People are now familiar with using mobile applications and our simple app provides accessible and fast biosecurity information, as well as an easy, effective way to report incidents.
“It will support those with the most to gain from a strong biosecurity system to help play a role.”
The Aquatic animal diseases significant to Australia: Identification field guide mobile application was an agreed priority of industries and governments under AQUAPLAN 2014-2019 and funded by the Australian Government.
It is available on Android, Windows and iOS platforms and provides comprehensive information on diseases included on Australia’s National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals.
“I encourage all of our commercial fishers, aquaculture workers, recreational fishers, biosecurity staff and scientists to download and get across this valuable application,” Minister Ruston said.
“It is a great tool that will help further ensure serious diseases do not impact on the future prosperity of Australian fisheries and aquaculture.”
For more information or to download the application, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/aquatic-disease-field-guide
Aquatic animal diseases should be reported to the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.