Gladstone’s commercial fishing industry is facing financial crunch due to diseased fish problem and they are pleading for State Government compensation for this. For several months, scientists have been investigating what has caused fish in Gladstone harbour to develop redness, cloudy eyes and lesions. The disease has led to the fall of seafood sale and thus the Gladstone Seafood Market closed at the weekend.
Trawler operator Devlon Wise said that the condition has become worst as no-one is buying his catch due to disease. He added that he has not earned an income in months and he desperately needs financial help. The present situation is so bad that consumers do not trust local seafood anymore. Fishermen are in great need of financial help.
Commercial fisherman Darren Brown closed his seafood wholesale business at the weekend after a big slump in sales. He told that since the closure of harbour the business has dropped drastically in turnover. However, Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace says the Government will provide financial counselling, but cannot give compensation for naturally occurring events. He said that Gladstone’s catch figures show revenue is up almost $1 million this year, but concedes there is lingering public doubt about local seafood. He informed that a scientific panel is expected to deliver a report into the issue this week.