Fisherman welcomes autopsies

FISHERMAN Luke Hargreaves yesterday said the commercial sector would be happy to fund autopsies on dead marine life to clear their name.

The Yeppoon resident, who owns Fisho's CQ, said he was disgusted with the attitudes of people who used commercial fishermen as “bait” for blame over the unusual number of dead marine life washing up on Capricorn Coast and Gladstone beaches.

This comes after a dead loggerhead turtle was found on Emu Park's Fisherman's Beach late last week, the fourth in under a month, according to daily beach walker Bernadette George.

Mr Hargreaves was responding to community views and a story in The Morning Bulletin's Saturday, June 18, edition, where Cr Brett Svendsen questioned if there was a link between increased commercial fishing activity in Keppel Bay and the deaths, and said there should be a full inquiry.

“There is no way turtles would have been killed by trawlers, they are all fitted with TEDs (turtle excluder devices),” Mr Hargreaves said.

“The commercial sector would be happy to fund autopsies. We are sick of being blamed for this.”

Cr Svendsen yesterday said he was not blaming commercial fishermen, he just wanted answers.

Through council, Cr Svendsen has asked the environmental committee to request a report from the State Government on why sea animals, especially turtles, were dying at an unusual rate.

Former environment minister Kate Jones announced an investigation into the recent deaths of animals in the Gladstone Harbour two weeks ago. The Morning Bulletin is expecting answers from the Department of Environment and Resource Management to questions from the Bully for tomorrow's edition.



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