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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Diseased fish found in Australian harbor - 24th Sept 2011

Commercial and sport fishing has been banned in a stretch of the Queensland coast in Australia because of red-spot disease and an unidentified parasite.

The area affected by the ban includes Gladstone Harbor and surrounding waterways like the strait between Curtis Island and the mainland, The Morning Bulletin of Rockhampton reported. Gladstone is about 300 miles north of Brisbane and 60 south of Rockhampton.

John Robertson, general manager of habitat and assessment for Fisheries Queensland, said red-spot disease is most common in the Australian winter.

"Red-spot disease starts with a red spot, but can develop into burn-like marks or ulcers with red centres," he said."It is typically caused by a fungus and often occurs in fish when they are under stress."

Fish in Gladstone harbor are also being affected by a parasite that causes their eyes to become cloudy, he said.

Fisheries Queensland is testing the water in the area and other species like mud crabs and will not lift the fishing ban until results are in, officials said. That means the waters will be closed for several more weeks. Source