BLANK CANVAS: GAPDL senior project officer Kim Williams, CEO Glenn Churchill and Gladstone Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator Lynette Spencer at the Gladstone Marina boardwalk.
BLANK CANVAS: GAPDL senior project officer Kim Williams, CEO Glenn Churchill and Gladstone Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator Lynette Spencer at the Gladstone Marina boardwalk. Luka Kauzlaric

Seafood festival returns due to $30,000 grant

AFTER four years on ice, the Gladstone Seafood Festival will come to life in October.

It's welcome news for families, local business and tourists, who will be key beneficiaries of the re-vamped event, according to organisers.

Parent and fisherwoman Tei Beard said Gladstone was crying out for more family events.

Ms Beard, her partner and young children enjoyed the festival in previous years.

"It's great; it's something to do in Gladstone," she said.

Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltdwill be co-ordinate the event in partnership with Gladstone Festivals and Events, after receiving $30,000 in funding from the Queensland Government.

The event is a blank canvas, according to GAPDL's Kim Williams, who envisages a celebration of the Gladstone community's sea-loving culture and its attributes as a tourist destination.

"It really is about development and promoting the region and local businesses, as well as seafood," she said.

"There has been adverse publicity around the harbour and because of that we feel it's an appropriate time to reinvent it," she said.

Gladstone Fish Market's Simon Whittingham said the seafood festival had been a lot of fun, and he would be keen to be involved again if his business could turn a profit from it.

Mr Whittingham's business does not stock fish caught in the Gladstone harbour because of health concerns he attributes to the port development.

"There is very little seafood industry left in Gladstone," he said.

Festival organisers are not deterred by the controversy, and are seeking sponsors to help make the event a reality.

"We are working with local fishermen and crabbers who say it is a very healthy industry," Ms Williams said.

"We're happy to promote the local produce. It's people's living and their lifestyles so we need to get that acceptance back, I think."

Queensland Seafood Industry Association and Gladstone Festivals and Events have yet to provide comment after being sent a request.

Fast facts

  • King prawns are caught mainly in central Queensland from around the Gladstone to Bowen region.
  • Seafood is a high-protein food that is low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat.
  • Catfish have over 27,000 taste buds. Humans have about 7000.