Commerical Fishermen in Gladstone Harbour
Posted on Monday, 22 August 2011
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd confirmed today that he has had several representations from concerned fishermen in relation to water quality in the Gladstone Harbour.
“I have heard of crabs and prawns presenting with a variety of lesions and growths. I’ve had fishermen tell me about live Coral Trout being perfectly healthy until they get Gladstone Harbour water pumped into their tanks and then they develop lesions and a strong metallic smell from the gills.
We are aware that the Gladstone Ports Corporation is actively involved in a Steering Committee negotiating with commercial fishermen who are looking for compensation, or to have their licences purchased.
It is time for a truly independent review of the water quality in the Gladstone Harbour. There has been an enormous amount of activity in the Harbour recently and it is only natural to expect that a lot of material has been dislodged from the harbour bed. We need to know what is in this sediment.
There is no good allowing one State Government Agency test the activities of another. This is a bit like leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse”. Mr O’Dowd said.
Already we have heard that Ted Whittingham from Gladstone Fish Markets has had to severely reduce his staff because his scallop business faces not being able to operate in the Gladstone Harbour.
Already Gladstone workers have lost their jobs and if the commercial fishing industry that operates out of the Gladstone Harbour is forced out of business hundreds more will lose their livelihoods.
It’s alright for Government Public Servants to say ‘we are going to compensate the fishing operators for lose of business’ but what about the workers that the commercial fishermen employ, and what about the lose of our beautiful local seafood?
I don’t believe that we can simply blame the floods either. The floods were to the north and south of the Gladstone Harbour so to blame run off from the farmers is a bit rich”. He said.