A further discarding of two tonnes of diseased Gladstone fish by the Brisbane Raptis Fish Market confirms that the government is on the wrong course in its management of Gladstone Harbour.
The local Gladstone fish market has been warning of the ongoing problems in the harbour for a year now. It discarded 600 tonnes of diseased fish last September.
‘But the Newman state government, like the Bligh government before it, has chosen to deny that there are problems with water quality and has even lowered standards to facilitate the harbour’s dredging program,’ Queensland Greens spokesperson Libby Connors said today.
The Gladstone Fishing Research Fund was established to employ independent scientists Dr Matt Landos and Ben Diggles because of dissatisfaction over the government’s denial of the extent of marine life disease and of the harbour’s ecosystem health.
‘The independent scientists have warned against eating any seafood caught in Gladstone and that the poor water quality is a problem while the government has continued to claim that the water quality is normal.
‘One more commercial fisherman has now sustained a terrible financial loss. It seems this state government is going to allow the Gladstone fishery to collapse without taking any meaningful action to restore the harbour’s water quality.
‘The Greens urge the Newman government to restore the lower turbidity thresholds which they recently weakened and to suspend all dredging until scientists have identified the cause of diseased marine life in the region.’
‘Irresponsible management of this world heritage area is damaging to Australia’s international reputation as environmental manager and as a food producer, two crucial areas of the state’s economy.’
Dredging Today Staff, May 14, 2012; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment