An aerial View of Fisherman's Landing in Gladstone Harbour.
An aerial View of Fisherman's Landing in Gladstone Harbour. Brenda Strong

Fisheries Queensland to review fish health report

THE Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry says it will review a report released by Dr Matt Landos on his Gladstone fish health investigation.

A Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said the Queensland Government had been investigating fish health and water quality since September 2011, and was continuing to do so.

"To properly identify the causes of fish health issues in Gladstone, fisheries scientists have been comparing changes in the ecosystem and considering all the elements that influence the situation, including seasonality and location," the spokesperson said.

"Early in 2012, Fisheries Queensland expanded its investigation into fish health issues, with survey trips being conducted in April/May, June/July and September 2012.

"In total, the Fisheries Queensland investigation has observed more than 4700 samples of a range of fish species, and more than 4100 samples of crustaceans and molluscs."

The spokesperson pointed to results of sampling in 2012, which she said indicate that fish health in Gladstone was "much improved from 2011."

She said;

* Most barramundi sampled were in good condition, and did not display the ulcerative lesions, eye conditions and infections from Neobenedenia that were documented in 2011; and there was evidence that previously observed physical injuries were healing.

* Sharks across all sites, including reference sites at other locations outside of Gladstone, displayed redness and the presence of the parasitic flatworm Dermophthirius maccallumi.

* Crustaceans displayed a low incidence of shell erosion.

* No significant signs of ill health were observed in any other focus species.

* Samples of a wide range of fish, crustacean and mollusc species are currently undergoing more detailed studies. When these results have been received, reports incorporating all information from the 12-month period September 2011 to September 2012 will be completed and published in 2013.