Being involved in the production of aquatic animals in Tasmania means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect your business, the broader industry and the state from the impact of aquatic pests and diseases.
Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD) and to help keep your business - and Tasmania - biosecurity safe.
Develop a Biosecurity Plan
Developing and implementing an appropriate biosecurity plan for your business is a key step that you can take. Biosecurity plans should contain actions aimed at preventing the introduction or spread of aquatic pests and disease on your property or lease. They are also a good way to educate staff and visitors on the importance of biosecurity. There are many on-line resources to assist with this – the Farm Biosecurity website is a great starting point.
Important Biosecurity Actions
Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)
If you SEE something on your farm or production site that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species;
SECURE the site by restricting access (and limiting movement in the case of suspected animal diseases) AND take a photo, noting the location; and then
REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible.
Please note: Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.
Engage the services of a veterinarian and maintain a working relationship to help manage the health and welfare requirements of your stock as required.
Ensure that if you sell or move stock from one growing area to another, or for harvesting purposes, all animals are identified and recorded by batch or year class and are moved in accordance with any restrictions, protocols or program requirements relevant to your industry.
Observe your stock and their growing environment daily. During your routine operations, look for signs of abnormal behaviour that may indicate a health or welfare problem.
Ensure that visitors are made aware of any biosecurity requirements on your site, including completion of sign-in logs and the need for good vehicle, vessel, equipment, clothing and personal hygiene when travelling between sites.
To reduce the risk of common garden plants (including aquarium plants) becoming environmental weeds – consider composing all green waste within your own contained composting system to be used again on your property or, alternatively, utilise council green waste bins and facilities. Do not illegally dump green waste into the environment.
Establish a dedicated visitor parking area, traffic route and visitor walking route to prevent unauthorised access to your operation.
Establish hygiene control points and maintain appropriate facility cleaning procedures to prevent pest and disease incursions.
Do not allow visitors to bring food onto the property for the purpose of feeding your stock.
Ensure that all equipment (including: pens, racks, cages, baskets, ropes, etc.) is suitable for its purpose, is well maintained and cleaned regularly of biofouling using approved methodologies.
Where applicable to your sector, register for a Property Identification Code (PIC) and make sure your details are updated on the PIC database.
Check your farm or production site regularly for cases of mortality and remove the mortalities as soon as practically possible. Mortalities must be disposed of in an approved manner and not returned to the aquatic environment.
Ensure that AgVet chemicals are used as per label, or applicable off-label permit (i.e. appropriately to minimise risk to human health, animal health, plant health and the environment). Visit the website for information on AgVet chemical use in Tasmania.
Importing items into Tasmania
If you are importing live freshwater fish, please ensure the species of fish you intend to import are on the Inland Fisheries Service Permissible Imports List - Freshwater Aquarium Fish. Persons who are not registered as a Fish Dealer with Inland Fisheries may not import freshwater fish into Tasmania without an appropriate permit issued by the Director of Inland Fisheries.
Contact and reporting
Contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:
Phone: (03) 6165 3777
Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) or the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858).
Stay up to date on biosecurity in Tasmania
Subscribing to the Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.
Follow Biosecurity Tasmania on Facebook.
Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.