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Fishermen counting the cost in wake of flooding

TIME OUT: Hervey Bay’s fishing trawler fleet have also been affected by the floods.
TIME OUT: Hervey Bay’s fishing trawler fleet have also been affected by the floods. Valerie Horton

MURKY water has meant Fraser Coast fisherman have struggled with catches following last month's flooding.

Floodwaters are filled with debris, and dirty water has made conditions difficult for commercial fisherman.

Net fisherman Brett Fuchs said the water quality always declined after flooding or heavy rain.

"Catches always die off after floods and the water was pretty dirty after these latest floods," he said.

"It was pretty average."

Many coastal communities rely on fishing as a main industry.

Fisherman Jim Thorborne said he had stayed on the land following the flood.

"I usually go out three days a week," he said.

"I went out a week after the flood but not since then. The water is just too dirty, which makes it hard."

Federal MP Paul Neville told the ABC the floods had devastated southern Queensland's Wide Bay fishing industry.

"It's just muddy water that's carrying all the residue from whatever was in the city of Bundaberg, whether it be oils and paints and pesticides. It's all mixed in - it's not a very good mix," Mr Neville said.

"Since the flood we had three years ago, every year the fishing was getting better.

"It's very difficult to get (financial) assistance for a fisherman and that's the way it's been for decades."

Topics:  commercial fishing, flood, flood recovery, oswald


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