December 2018
Issue #2


Dr Samantha Allan, Executive Manager Emergency Preparedness and Response




Welcome to the second edition of our AHA Aquatic Update.

Australian Biosecurity Symposium

AHA is excited to announce that we have partnered up with the Invasive Species Council (ISC) and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) to bring you the inaugural Australian Biosecurity Symposium to be held 12-13 June 2019 on the Gold Coast, QLD.


The Symposium theme is preventative biosecurity practices and will focus on research and innovation, outside-of-the-box thinking and the exchange of knowledge and ideas across the biosecurity collective – agriculture (animals and plants), pest animals, weeds, wildlife, aquatics and the environment.


Our Symposium provides the ideal platform for cross-sectoral discussion, where new concepts are introduced, ideas are shared and tested, advice is sought and given, and new partnerships built. Challenging papers that stimulate debate and energy are encouraged - we hope you will be a part of it!

Find out more about our call for abstracts and registration below.


Aquatic videos

We’ve been busy filming a series of introductory videos
to help you get more familiar with AHA's role as Custodian of the Aquatic Deed.


We're looking forward to finalising these and being able to share them with you all - keep an eye out on social media pages over December!


Other business

A reminder that AHA is developing the Aquatic Services section of our website that will be full of resources and valuable information. Currently a number of fact sheets have been developed in conjunction with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) for your use relating to:

Please let us know if there are other fact sheets or materials which you would find useful by emailing us at


If you know someone who would like to subscribe, feel free to forward this email to them or direct them to


Have a safe and happy holidays!


I hope you enjoy reading this Aquatic Deed Update.


Aquatic engagement




AHA has had a presence at a number of aquatic industry events including:

  • The Australian Barramundi Farmers Annual General Meeting
  • A trade booth at the Shellfish Futures conference
  • Presenting at the Seafood Industry Victoria Annual General Meeting
  • Attendance at the Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture farm expansion opening
  • Presenting at the Skills Impact Fishing and Aquaculture Industry Skills Forum

Upcoming events

We love getting out and meeting the people who make the industry what it is. If you’d like us to come out and speak at your conference or event email us at


Call for abstracts and registrations now open for the 2019 Australian Biosecurity Symposium

AHA, ISC and CISS are seeking presentations for concurrent sessions that align with the overall Symposium theme of ‘preventative biosecurity practices’. With four presentation types and five themes to choose from the opportunities are in abundance!

The following topics are central to the program and your abstract should link to one of these:

  • Future proofing biosecurity
  • Technology
  • International insights
  • Behaviour change for better biosecurity

Abstracts are open until 5pm (AEST) Friday 15 February 2019. Early bird registration rates to the symposium are also now open, with sponsorship opportunities available soon.

Find out more.




One of the many fabulous people we met at the Shellfish Futures Conference was Gideon.


Gideon is in his final year of Honours studying the Ecosystem services of naturally ocurring oyster reefs in Southern Australia and works at Southern Cross Marine Culture.


It was evident when speaking with Gideon how much passion and love he has for the industry!


Issue 2 of The Link available now!


The Link features stories from producers, vets and others who work in the agriculture industry and shares what AHA and our members/stakeholders are working on to strengthen the animal health system.


Issue 2 focuses on emergency animal disease preparedness and features a number of aquatic-related stories.

You can view Issue 2 here.


Northern Australia Biosecurity survey results


On 1 November 2018, AHA's Aquatic Biosecurity Liaison Officer, Helen and staff members from Instinct & Reason presented at the AHA offices on the findings of the aquatic biosecurity survey for northern Australia.


Some key findings included:

  • The concept of shared responsibility for biosecurity is relatively unknown in the aquatic environment compared with the terrestrial environment.
  • 85% of aquaculture farms and other stakeholders considered that their knowledge of biosecurity had increased in the last three years mainly due to diseases like white spot disease in prawns.
  • Two-thirds of farms anticipate a major outbreak within the next 12 months.
  • 82% would be encouraged to report if there was a no blame advisory/reporting service, better information about to whom they should report, and an easy reference for identifying disease.

You can read the summary report here.


Photo: Dr Samantha Allan, AHA; Fiona McLean and Rob Mercer, Instinct & Reason; Dr Patrick Hone and Wayne Hutchinson, FRDC and Helen Jenkins, AHA.


Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture Expansion


On 23 November, Helen attended the Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture farm expansion opening.

The Herbst family - pioneers of the industry - celebrated the new 16 pond expansion to their existing farm and held a celebration. This farm lost its bigger farm to white spot disease in 2017 so it was fabulous to celebrate an expansion that came in on time and within its allocated budget and ready to supply the Christmas market.

The ponds are all fully stocked and guests enjoyed a feast of fresh farm grown prawns, Moreton bay bugs, oysters, smoked salmon, salads and BBQ chicken.

It was well attended by suppliers, scientists, government officials and industry stakeholders.


Presentation to WAFIC Board


In late November, Helen presented to the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) Board as an Industry Reference Committee (IRC) member of the Aquaculture and Wild Catch Reference Group.


This presentation focused on the changes to the Seafood Training Package and consisted of robust discussions about issues within the industry and why a biosecurity element would be an important addition to the training package. 


Helen then attended the WAFIC Jubilee dinner to celebrate 50 years of the organisation. More information can be found here


Social media


Click the icons to make sure you’re following us to keep up to date! We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Deed and the industry.


quick bits


Built on the water with fish scale roof: Sydney's new look fish market


Alexandra Smith, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 November 2018


The final design for the long-awaited new Sydney Fish Market has been unveiled, with the famous market to move to a site at Blackwattle Bay, revitalising the area and opening up access to the harbour.


Read more.

Fishing fatalities prompt warning amid revelation working on boats more dangerous than mining


Charlie McKillop, ABC Rural, 5 December 2018


The owner of the largest fleet in Australia's most valuable prawn fishery has called on industry to tackle its safety problems amid revelations fishing is about 25 times more dangerous to work in than mining and construction.


Read more.

New board appointments for Fisheries RDC


Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, media release, 18 October 2018


Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and Assistant Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck have announced new directors to guide the investment and research efforts of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.


Read more.


Western Rock Lobster’s first industry capacity building program a great success


Western Rock Lobster, news, 19 October 2018


Western Rock Lobster’s first DECK Program forum which aims to build capacity within the industry, was held last week with great success.


Read more.

The ‘big dry’ hits our oceans: how the drought is impacting Australia’s fishing industry


Seafood Industry Australia, news, 1 November 2018


Think drought only affects the land? Think again. With diminished rainfalls and higher than average temperatures the “big dry” has hit our oceans and is impacting Australia’s fishing industry.


Read more.

Wars over fish increasingly likely as countries use military force to protect 'critical commodity'


Buffy Gorrilla, ABC News, 3 November 2018


Every fifth fish caught worldwide is done so illegally, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says.


Read more.


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