This shark with a red rash was caught in the Gladstone area in late October.
This shark with a red rash was caught in the Gladstone area in late October. Contributed

Focus on red-rashed sharks

GLADSTONE Harbour's fish-disease outbreak has once again been a talking point in State Parliament.

While the focus has been almost entirely on barramundi throughout the controversy, this time discussion turned to the unexplained red rashes appearing on sharks in the harbour.

Sharks with red rashes have regularly been caught by commercial fishermen in the harbour in recent months.

While a flatworm parasite has been linked to diseased barramundi, fishers have been disturbed by the lack of explanation for symptoms displayed by other species.

Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace used a speech in parliament on Thursday to outline new results from Biosecurity Queensland tests on shark samples from the harbour.

"A number of sharks, caught by commercial fishermen and Fisheries Queensland officers in Gladstone waters, have displayed a skin discolouration," he said.

"A large parasite, which is different to the parasitic flatworm known to be affecting barramundi in the area, has also been found on several of those sharks showing redness."

Mr Wallace said the same redness and parasite had been found on sharks in other river systems in Queensland, including the Fitzroy River and Kolan River north-west of Bundaberg.


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