Fishing control area extended

AREA EXTENDED: The control zone near Cape Bridgewater to manage an abalone viral ganglioneuritis. Picture: AGRICULTURE VICTORIA

A CONTROL area to manage an abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG) outbreak in Victoria’s south-west has been extended past the western edge of Bridgewater Bay.

Further surveillance this week found the aquatic disease, impacting wild abalone in the area, has spread to the control area’s western boundary.

The new control area spans from about one kilometre west of Cape Bridgewater Lookout to Cape Grant in the east.

Victoria’s chief veterinary officer Dr Graeme Cooke said the extension a necessary step to limit the spread of the disease to other abalone populations.

“Fortunately, there are still no detections east of Cape Grant, so the control area does not impact fishing and boating activities in Portland,” Dr Cooke said.

Dr Cooke said surveillance would continue in the control area and west to monitor disease spread.

“In the control area, you can continue to fish with an unweighted line, take your boat out (provided you do not anchor), swim, surf and paddleboard,” Dr Cooke said.

“You cannot anchor your boat, fish with a weighted sinker, dive, use commercial or recreational fishing equipment such as hoop nets, bait traps and hauling nets, collect abalone or shellfish or anything from the sea floor.”

Outside the control area, fishing, diving and boating activities can occur as normal.

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