Fisherman loses faith in testing

Commercial fisherman Mark McMillan with one of the diseased fish caught on Wednesday evening.
Commercial fisherman Mark McMillan with one of the diseased fish caught on Wednesday evening. David Sparkes

WHEN it comes to testing diseased fish in Gladstone Harbour, something just doesn't add up for Mark McMillan.
A commercial fisherman, Mr McMillan has been assisting Queensland Fisheries in catching fish for testing.

"I saw on television last night, (Fisheries Minister) Craig Wallace said 160 (fish) were caught, which is a load of s***," Mr McMillan said.

Mr McMillan is not accusing the minister of lying.

"I'd say he has probably been misadvised," he said.

"He's probably been handed a piece of paper."

Mr McMillan said he was completely disillusioned by a system he no longer trusted.

He says he has no faith in the testing or bureaucratic processes behind them.

"I need to go back to work (as a barramundi fisherman around Gladstone), but you've seen the fish," he said.

"Are we going to be able to sell any of them with a clear conscience?

"With the numbers of diseased fish the way they are now, I've nearly got to catch a hundred fish a night to make it viable, because I'll only get to keep 20 of them, (since 80 of them will be diseased)."

Now Mr McMillan is worried that he may have to look for a new line of work.

"I'm definitely worried, but at my age, who's going to give me a job?" the fisherman asked.

"I've been fishing all my life."

Topics:  fisherman gladstone harbour

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