Why are our fish sick?

Ren Lanzon

Ren's spit

WON'T it be good to get back to a bit of fun, like global warming, Fred?

No chance while there is so much heat over the water quality in the harbour, though.

Last week we told of one minister in the government telling us it was safe to eat the fish in the harbour, while another revealed that tests on the diseased fish have not been completed. Sounds like a risky proposition to me.

Then we got a report from one fisherman who said he caught fish in the "top of the Calliope River" and also "up the Boyne River" and the fish were healthy. This suggested that all the fish are healthy, including the ones in the harbour?

Is it worthwhile pointing out the dredging, which many suspect has a big part to play in the ill health of fish, crabs and prawns, occurs in the harbour. There's no dredging at the "top" of the Calliope or "up" the Boyne Rivers.

The indications by Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has been the sickness was caused by large numbers of stressed barramundi coming over the dam wall, then competing with fish in the harbour.

Here is something of what Jim Grayson, CEO of the Gladstone Area Water Board, told me in regard to this matter:

"GAWB seeks to better understand the causal connection that has been reported and has therefore sought engagement with the Government Scientific Panel on this issue."

He said that as the dam was already at capacity, there might be some replication this wet season of the events that occurred during the last wet season.

"Obviously, GAWB has limited physical means to prevent the barramundi from crossing the spillway during times of flood with the principal focus of GAWB's interest being around the impact of its compliance with its stocking requirements to inform its future actions."

Perhaps the government could help out.