Govt body passes the buck
A FISH wholesaler is calling on Safe Food Queensland to declare its verdict on seafood from Gladstone Harbour.
Gladstone Fish Market owner Simon Whittingham has been writing to Safe Food Queensland, asking them to clarify whether seafood from Gladstone's waters is safe for human consumption.
Safe Food Queensland has consistently said it was up to commercial fishermen and fishmongers to determine whether fish were fit for sale.
However, Mr Whittingham says, given the harbour was closed last year due to a fish health scare, he needs Safe Food Queensland to make a declaration before he can sell fish from the harbour.
"Human health is the absolute priority here," he said.
Mr Whittingham has exchanged several emails with the authority.
Safe Food Queensland yesterday told The Observer it had not changed its position.
"I interpret (their response) as meaning they are not prepared to take responsibility for the decision," Mr Whittingham said.
"They want to rely on us to take the responsibility."
He said other government departments, such as Fisheries Queensland and the Department for Environment and Heritage Protection had declared the harbour healthy.
"Everyone else is saying it is fine. Why won't Safe Food Queensland say the same?" he said.
Healthy or not?
Last September, a fishing ban was placed on Gladstone Harbour for three weeks after fish were discovered with red lesions.
Since the ban, Fisheries Queensland has monitored fish health and found a vast improvement in the harbour.
The exception is the Boyne River, where there are still barramundi with red marks.
Raglan Creek has previously not been identified as a problem area.