Fish sampling conducted in June and July has found fish health in Gladstone waters is continuing to improve, even in the tougher conditions of winter.
Fisheries Queensland has released its latest survey report, which found fish to be in overall good health within Gladstone, including the harbour and spoil grounds.
Fisheries Queensland biologist Dr Stephen Wesche said the most significant finding was evidence of fish healing from previous injuries.
“We caught barramundi in the Boyne, Calliope and Burnett Rivers with recovering lesions – there was clearly new skin and scales growing over the lesions,” Dr Wesche said.
“The advanced stage of healing on some of the fish indicates the injuries occurred prior to 2012.
“This evidence of healing is great news for local fish populations, as it points to the resilience of the fish and that their previous ill health is being overcome.
“It is particularly encouraging to see this healing continue during winter, which can be a tougher season for fish such as barramundi.
“Of the 93 barramundi observed, none had Neobenedenia parasites, eye problems or ulcerative lesions.”
Dr Wesche said there were also no significant signs of ill health observed with other fish species, including grinner, Australian threadfin and Castelnau´s herring.
“Both within Gladstone and at the reference sites in the Fitzroy River and Bundaberg, the fish were in good condition,” he said.
According to the ABC News, the Gladstone Ports Corporation has dismissed the latest claims of a link between sick fish and harbour dredging.
Dredging Today Staff, August 20, 2012; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment