News

White spot threat: is fishing finished in Queensland?

DISASTER LOOMS: Tin Can Bay seafood representative Kev Reibel says all coastal fishing, commercial and recreational, is under threat along the Australian east coast if the Logan River white spot epidemic is not contained.
DISASTER LOOMS: Tin Can Bay seafood representative Kev Reibel says all coastal fishing, commercial and recreational, is under threat along the Australian east coast if the Logan River white spot epidemic is not contained.

THE Logan River white spot epidemic could destroy all mainland fishing in Queensland, including a big slice of the Cooloola Coast seafood and tourism economy, industry leader Kev Reibel has warned.

A Queensland Seafood Industry Association board member and Tin Can Bay trawler operator, Mr Reibel said the threat was credible and immediate.

"To say we are worried would be something of an understatement,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Gympie Times on Sunday.

"We don't know if it can be stopped and we don't know its boundaries within the crustaceans, or even if it has any boundaries. If it affects crabs, that's another industry and another tourism factor wiped out.

He backed claims by industry environmental adviser and Bay net fishing operator Joe McLeod that the apparently unstoppable virus is a threat to the food chains which sustain all kinds of fin fishing.

Mr McLeod said the plankton that kicked off the fin fish food chain included juvenile prawns and other crustaceans.

"If they're not there, there is nothing for the fish to eat,” Mr McLeod said yesterday.

Both said there was a fearful lack of knowledge of the virus' boundaries, especially with the crustacean group.

"If it affects crabs, that is another seafood and tourism industry,” Mr McLeod said.

Mr Reibel said this would have flow-on effects on all the accommodation, fuel and equipment supply businesses that keep Queensland coastal economies afloat.

"Everything,” he said. "Everything will be hit hard if this is not stopped.”

The problem, he claims, is that governments and their advisers have put free trade ahead of biosecurity.

"Within a week of this being found in the Logan River, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia banned import of raw prawns from Queensland.

"But no-one was concerned about them being imported into Australia as bait prawns, from countries where they knew there were diseases.”

Raw prawn imports were undoubtedly the cause of the problem, now looming as a potential catastrophe for industry and environment, he said.

"They've banned imports now and ships with raw prawns on board can't unload.

"But we've been warning the federal government since the early 1990s that it was dangerous to allow the import of green prawns.

"No-one took any notice of us.”

"A week after they banned netting in the Logan River, they warned the industry that nets used there should be washed before being re-used. Well, that's too late.

"Recreational fishing people using bait nets to catch prawns and then fishing somewhere else could inadvertently spread the disease..

"What if I throw a line into the Logan River and bring home a fish that's had a big feed of prawns?

"If I clean and gut it here, I could introduce the disease to Tin Can Bay.

"I just don't know where we're going to go,” he said.

"I feel sorry for the prawn farmers in the Logan River but no-one's given a thought to the commercial netters who have now been banned from there, possibly losing their houses too.

"It's the same with farmers. We've seen disease dangers from imports of pineapples and bananas.”

Commenting on the upcoming Senate inquiry into biosecurity procedures, Mr Reibel said politicians also needed to look at their own trade policies.

Inquiry

The Courier-Mail has reported that the inquiry will look at how the disease got here, any failures in biosecurity practices, its impact on industry and how to prevent future incursions.

It may also be broadened to look at biosecurity issues generally affecting the seafood industry.

$25 million in the Logan River alone - and worse to come

PRAWNS worth more than $25 million have been destroyed since November in the Logan River.

But Mr Reibel says neither federal assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston nor Queensland Fiseries Minister Bill Byrne have expressed any concern for commercial fishers in and near the Lopgan River who have been ordered to stop their normal operations.

Gympie Times

Topics:  cooloola coast logan river seafood industry tin can bay tourism white spot disease



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Don't miss your chance to meet Gympie council

Gympie regional council Daryl Dodt, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Leitch, Glen Hartwig, James Cochrane, Mark McDonald and Hilary Smerdon.

More people needed at Meet the Mayor and Councillor nights

Pauline Hanson's plane story contradicted by leaked tapes

Pauline Hanson with the One Nation plane — complete with party logo and a caricature of Senator Hanson — flown by James Ashby.

Senator Hanson indicates developer Bill McNee donated the cash

Fix the Bruce Hwy and unlock our full potential

Applications open tomorrow for the $20m in funding

Local Partners

Everything coming to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime Video this June

AS ANOTHER month comes to an end, we get ready to have new content added to our streaming services. Here is everything coming this June.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

Apparently, the answer is no.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

Bush-beach relief for renters in tough times

TENANTS: Families are finding it hard to put a roof over their heads in Gympie region.

Tenants on struggle street in from Gympie to Bundaberg

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!