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Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Latest Advisories

Subscribing to get DPIPWE’s 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.

Biosecurity Advisory 20/2018 – Soft-shell clam – Fisheries (Biosecurity) Order 2018 No.2

​Following the recent detection of soft-shell clams in Orford, Tasmania and in accordance with Section 270 of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995, Fisheries (Biosecurity) Order 2018 No.2 was gazetted today, Wednesday 11 July 2018.

The Order formally prohibits the taking and possession of soft-shell clams in Tasmania by unauthorised persons. The Order has been issued to control and prevent the spread and introduction, or re-introduction of soft-shell clams (Maya Japonica) into areas of State waters. More information on the soft-shell clam is available on the DPIPWE website at:

The Order is as follows:


Fisheries (Biosecurity) Order 2018 No. 2

Pursuant to the powers under section 270 of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 ("the Act") that were delegated to the Director (Marine Resources) on 2 July 2018 by the Minister acting pursuant to section 20(1) of the Act I make the following order:

1. Short title
This order may be cited as the Fisheries (Biosecurity) Order 2018 No. 2.

2. Specification
This order is made – 
(a) in respect of the harmful pest the soft-shell clam Mya japonica; and 
(b) to place restrictions on the take and possession of that harmful pest to control and prevent the spread and introduction or re-introduction of Maya japonica into areas of State waters.

3. Directions issued
(1) That, unless otherwise authorised, a person must not take Mya japonica in State waters.
(2) That, unless otherwise authorised, an unauthorised person must not possess Mya japonica.

4. Interpretation
In this order –
"unauthorised person" means any person who is not an employee of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment or the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery undertaking research or biosecurity activities on the soft shell clam Mya japonica.

Dated this 9th day of July 2018

Grant Pullen
A/Director, Marine Resources

This order issues directions aimed at controlling and preventing the introduction, reintroduction or spread of the introduced harmful pest Mya japonica in State waters.  The order takes effect on the day on which it is published in the Gazette and remains in effect for 12 months.

Categories: Freshwater pests; Invasive Species; Marine pests; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation;

Biosecurity Advisory 18/2018 - Import Requirement 46 – Tomato Potato Psyllid Hosts and Vectors

Biosecurity Tasmania wish to advise that Import Requirement 46 relating to hosts and vectors of tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (syn. Trioza cockerelli Šulc)) has been formally declared on 8 June 2018. This import requirement is in response to the detection and establishment of tomato potato psyllid (TPP) ​​​in the Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia, and as a precautionary measure in the event the psyllid is detected in other parts of Australia.

TPP is recognised internationally as a very serious pest of solanaceous hosts like potato, tomato, capsicum and eggplant. The potato processing industry in Tasmania is considered to be a very important agricultural industry sector in the State generating $100 -150 million per annum.

The Import Requirement 46 – Tomato Potato Psyllid Hosts and Vectors is effective from 22 June 2018.

For more information on tomato potato psyllid, visit:

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Natural environment; Seeds; Invasive Species; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Livestock;

Biosecurity Advisory 17/2018 - Soft-shell clam detected in south east Tasmania

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) is investigating the detection of the introduced soft-shell clam on a beach on the Prosser River at Orford in south east Tasmania. 

The clam is a large bivalve marine mollusc and genetic sequencing has confirmed it is Mya japonica. Soft-shell clams are native to the Northern Hemisphere, and this is the first detection of soft-shell clam in the Southern Hemisphere.  The response to this detection is being managed in accordance with the National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions within nationally agreed protocols.

Soft-shell clams can grow up to 150 mm and typically live in sand, mud and gravel in shallow sub-tidal and intertidal zones. The clam exists beneath the sediment surface burying itself up to 50 cm deep. It uses long siphons, which pump water for respiration, feeding and spawning.

Considered an invasive species for their potential to outcompete native species for habitat, Mya japonica represents a potential marine pest risk to other areas of Tasmania and Australia through the spread of larvae on water currents.

Biosecurity Tasmania is currently investigating appropriate surveillance methods to understand the extent of the soft-shell clam incursion and possible response options, including if eradication is feasible or if control methods should be adopted. DPIPWE will pro-actively engage with all biosecurity and scientific groups, the seafood industry, the local councils and communities on this issue to determine the best future strategy.

It is very important that the clams are not collected or moved to other locations.​

Anyone finding what they suspect to be a soft-shell clam are encouraged to contact DPIPWE on telephone at 03 6165 3777 or email:

Images of the soft-shell clam can be found on the DPIPWE website at

Supplying a photograph of the suspected soft-shell clam would assist in identification.

Categories: Freshwater pests; Invasive Species; Marine pests; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Wildlife;

Biosecurity Advisory 16/2018 – Caring for sheep and livestock in extreme weather - Animal welfare alert

Biosecurity Tasmania urges owners of sheep to be vigilant for any signs in their flock of cold stress brought about by forecast cold conditions and heavy rains. Sheep recently shorn and new lambs could be suffering due to the weather conditions and all reasonable precautions should be taken to minimise the effects of cold stress.

Sheep have a natural insulation to extreme weather with their fleece. In cold, wet and windy conditions, sheep shiver, huddle together in the mob and seek shelter behind windbreaks to produce and conserve heat. However, these mechanisms have limits. If weather stress is excessive or prolonged, the sheep's capacity to maintain a stable body temperature may be exceeded and cold stress will result. Hypothermia most commonly occurs in freshly shorn, light condition sheep during wet and windy conditions at any time of the year

Hypothermia literally means 'temperature below normal', occurs when too much body heat is lost or too little body heat is produced, and the result is a drop in body temperature. If weather stress is excessive or prolonged, a sheep's capacity to maintain a stable body temperature may be exceeded, and heat or cold stress will result.

High rainfall and high winds combined with temperatures below normal will cause mortalities in young animals, especially newly shorn sheep without shelter. The impact of the cold weather will depend on its duration, rainfall, wind speed and temperature—the 'wind chill' factor can double heat loss.

Sheep suffering from hypothermia often die as a result of their own behaviour and their attempts to cope. Sheep move in the direction of the wind until they are stopped by a barrier such as a fence, gully or creek. At this point they may pile on top of each other leading to suffocation or drowning. Sheep may be reluctant or unable to move when wet and cold.

Initially sheep will try to maintain their body temperature by:

  • shallow breathing in order to reduce the rate of respiration (that is, rapid respiration or panting causes heat loss)
  • shivering
  • seeking shelter
  • huddling together

If dealing with a small flock, consider applying garbage bags as coats for the sheep. Trials have shown that properly fitted plastic bags can decrease the loss of body heat even in severely hypothermic sheep.

Be prepared to relocate animals to a shed or land on higher ground, or move stock to paddocks with adequate windbreaks with tree or bush shelter in the event of very heavy rainfall or likely flooding.

Prioritise your animals, giving shelter to the most vulnerable such as the ewes and lambs and those newly shorn.

The Bureau of Meteorology have issued a flood watch for low lying / flood susceptible areas on Tasmania's east coast, advising graziers that they should prepare to move stock in expectation of heavy rainfall. Visit the BOM website for more information:

More information on caring for your sheep during cold weather can be found on the DPIPWE/Biosecurity Tasmania website:​​

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;

Biosecurity Advisory 15/2018 - Fruit Fly Update - 4 May 2018

​A major effort is being undertaken to eradicate fruit fly from Tasmania.

Included in this effort has been:
  • Approximately 2500 properties have cooperated with the fruit fly response
  • Spot baiting undertaken at approximately 1200 properties
  • Surveillance through checking of around 1000 permanent traps placed around the state
  • Checking of an additional 333 surveillance traps placed around infected sites
  • Approximately 4500 trap checks undertaken
  • Approximately 3300 larval surveys undertaken
This work would not have been possible without the support of the community and industry which has enabled access to properties for surveillance and eradication activities as well as reported possible signed of fruit fly for follow-up investigation.

Encouragingly, there have been no further detections of fruit fly either within or outside current control areas since the last update.    

On Flinders Island, no detections have been made at either Badger Corner or Trousers Point since January. At Lady Barron no detections have been made since March 21.

Within the northern control area no detections have been made at or near the Spreyton site since March 16.  At George Town no detections have been made since April 2. While at the other infected site, no detections have been made since February 14.

Although no further detections have been made, there is still further work to be undertaken to ensure these areas can be declared fruit fly free again and enable access to markets where restrictions are in place.

Agreement from the Commonwealth and trading partners is required to achieve the fruit fly freedom status. This means that Tasmania needs to maintain identified processes to give certainty to the Australian Government and our trading partners that we have eradicated fruit fly from the State.

While the cooler winter weather is believed to be a barrier to fruit fly establishment in Tasmania, this alone cannot be relied on to achieve eradication so it is necessary to continue with control measures over coming months.  

This means that we will need to maintain the current control areas on Flinders Island and in northern Tasmania for the coming months until agreement is reached with the Commonwealth and trading partners that they can be lifted.

The Government is continuing to work with the Australian Government to identify what measures and requirements continue to be needed and for how long to meet requirements for fruit fly freedom status being recognised.

The Department will continue to keep industry and the community informed of requirements and changes to requirements.

Mowbray update     

This site was not an outbreak but was investigated in line with established protocols for single fly detections. There have been no further fruit fly detections at Mowbray. Earlier this month, a single adult male Queensland fruit fly was detected at a residential property in Mowbray. Approximately 40 fruit fly traps have been established in the surrounding area and all fruit trees and other host plants have been inspected on more than 100 properties in the immediate vicinity.  Inspections consist of examining all fruit on trees for any evidence of infestation, plus taking a quantity of fruit from the tree and any fruit on the ground to be cut into small pieces to determine if any larvae are present. No further fruit flies have been detected. No evidence of larval infestation has been found. The traps will continue to be inspected for a period of nine (9) weeks after the initial detection.

Further information on fruit fly in Tasmania can be found on the DPIPWE website at:​

Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;

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