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Photos from 14 Sept, 2001:.
Photo 1
Photo 1: Wilson Tuckey giving a TV interview on this controversial issue.

Photo 2
Photo 2: Hugh Meggit shows Mr. Tuckey around the fish farm threatened by the introduction of Canadian salmon imports.

Photo 3
Photo 3: Fran Bailey has been a lone crusader on this issue.

Photo 4:
Photo 4: From left to right: David Pickering, Ken Orr, Geoff Hall, Hugh Meggit (background), Fran Bailey and Harvey Taylor.

Canadian Salmonid Imports

The new Federal Minster for Fisheries acquaints himself with the issues of his portfolio and learns of the dangers inherent in Salmonid imports.

At a recent meeting with the new federal Minister for Fisheries Wilson (Iron bar) Tuckey which was organised by Fran Bailey, Member for Indi, David, Antony and Geoff put the case for recreational flyfishers in Victoria. Also present were Ken Orr and Harvey Taylor from Tasmania who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that when Australia has to accept shipments of Canadian Salmonid products the risk to Australian Trout and Salmon is minimised.

Fran Bailey organised the meeting to familiarise Wilson Tuckey with his new portfolio. The meeting took place at Goulburn River Trout Farm, beside Gilmore's Bridge. Hugh Meggit and Edward Meggit put the case for commercial trout producers in Victoria.

AQUIS is charged with managing the risk. Two suggested possibilities are:

a/ import only single portions of skinless, boneless, vacuum packed, cryo sealed packages or

b/ create a centrally located irradiation plant where whole salmonids coming into Australia would have to pass through. This is contingent upon scientific tests proving conclusively that the spores of whirling disease and other aquatic parasites and pathogens could be successful eliminated by irradiation.

The Canadian's would have to agree, the World Trade Organisation would have to accept that this is not a barrier to trade, and the Federal Government would have to provide funds for the irradiation plant. Consumer resistance would need to be eliminated by a successful advertising campaign funded by the Federal Government.

It should be noted that no Australian supermarket chain will accept Canadian Salmonid products until these conditions are met.

Option A, boned skinless, boneless, vacuum packed, cryo sealed portions carries minimum risk but it is still a raw product. It does mean all the offal and waste is left in Canada. It is usually through this route that infection occurs.

In the meantime New Zealand is exporting salmon (whole carcass) into Australia. New Zealand has reported outbreaks of whirling disease but because trout farming is largely prohibited in New Zealand they don't regard it as a problem!! This was forcibly brought to the Minister's attention.

We remind all Australian flyfishers who visit New Zealand and those lucky few who visit North America and Europe, to carefully observe all quarantine requirements with regard to wading boots, waders, landing nets etc. The whirling disease spores are microscopic and can withstand freezing or desiccation and can remain dormant in dust or mud for up to thirty years. Help keep Australia free of exotic fish diseases by playing your part.

The failure of the Government to negotiate reasonable terms of trade between Canada and Australia has meant the imposition of intolerable requirements for Australia to take shipments of salmon (including trout). The rearguard action to try to protect our fish stocks from exotic disease is now the responsibility of the Federal government. To ensure that risk in minimised they must achieve a satisfactory outcome or face the wrath of every trout fisher in the country. The cave in by the Australian Government once beef, lamb and sugar exports were threatened was a failure of nerve and will.

Other Whirling Disease Articles

Visit Montana's Whirling Disease Task Force Website



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