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More carcasses wash up

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WHILE the Queensland Government yesterday said it had no plans to extend the Gladstone fishing ban, dead marine life continued to wash up on Capricorn Coast beaches.

Adding to local concerns, Yeppoon's Daniel Spyve told The Morning Bulletin he threw two fish he caught at Coorooman Creek on the weekend back in the water when he suspected they were unhealthy.

"We caught two in one crab pot and that was up closer to the mouth of Coorooman Creek," Daniel said.

"All were legal size and we were going to keep them, but then when we had a look at them and two of them had these really fluorescent green eyes and down underneath their eyes where the whites are, they were very milky."

Daniel said there were also parts of the fish that appeared very red and looked like decaying flesh.

"They didn't look like a local cod that we'd caught in the creek before," Daniel said.

Daniel's discovery comes as Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace refuted claims from LNP shadow minister Dr Mark Robinson that warnings from Gladstone and Yeppoon fishermen were initially swept under the carpet.

"As soon as I was advised there were concerns around conditions affecting some locally-caught fish, I requested a full and urgent briefing from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation," Mr Wallace said yesterday.

"At that meeting on September 15, the department advised me of its decision to immediately close the harbour to fishing."

Mr Wallace said no consideration was being given to the geographical area of the closure being extended.

The Government is yet to decide whether a three-week ban on fishing - implemented after diseased fish were caught in Gladstone Harbour - will be lifted when it expires on Friday.

Meanwhile, more marine animals have washed up on beaches at the Capricorn Coast with a shark and a turtle discovered at Ritamada Beach at Emu Park on Monday.

Damien Head, regional manager, Central Marine, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, said the finds had been reported to the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

He said the turtle was a green turtle, just over a metre long and showed no signs of human interference.

"It was too decomposed to allow a necropsy to be conducted to determine a cause of death, however the carcass was in an emaciated condition," Mr Head said.

The shark was a whaler shark that was also just over a metre long.

"It was also in a decomposed state and no cause of death could be easily determined," Mr Head said.

Emu Park local, Bernadette George said she was deeply concerned by the number of animals washing up on the beaches.

"How many more dead turtles, stingrays, sea snakes, dolphin, dugong, barramundi and mud crabs do the State and Federal governments need before they realise we have an environmental disaster on our hands?" Ms George asked.

"The Qld Govt cannot keep taking us all for fools by trying to keep blaming the floods."

Ms George said the government should be working to establish exactly what was causing the problem.

"All I have been asking for... is for some proper and prompt scientific analysis so that we can get to the bottom of what's causing this environmental tragedy."

Topics:  capricorn coast fishing ban marine deaths marine life queensland government


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