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Fears dumped fish frames will attract sharks

PUTRID: One of six large jewfish carcasses found near the Tewantin boat ramp.
PUTRID: One of six large jewfish carcasses found near the Tewantin boat ramp. Amber Macpherson

A FLOATING graveyard of large jewfish could be the next hangout for the Noosa's population of bullsharks.

Eileen and Alex Brough were taking a pleasant stroll near the Tewantin Marina when they came across the six large, dead fish beneath the Memorial Ave bridge on Monday morning.

"I've never seen anything like it," Mr Brough said.

"We lived in Noosa for 31 years before we moved to Tasmania, we're back visiting on holidays and we saw all these dead fish. It's a mystery."

While Mr and Mrs Brough pondered what could have killed the creatures in our A-rated Noosa River, on closer inspection it appeared the fish had been stripped and filleted, with their carcasses left to decompose next to a boat ramp.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries patrol district officer Matthew Albiez said while disposing of fish carcasses in water was not illegal, it could draw dangerous marine life to the area.

"In some parts of Queensland, discarding fish in areas such as boat ramps can attract sharks and crocodiles which can pose a public safety risk," Mr Albiez said.

"The dumping of fish frames is not an offence under the Fisheries Act, however, it does constitute littering which is discouraged and could be a breach of local government laws."

The 2008 Fisheries Regulation prohibits recreational fishers from skinning and filleting fin fish on water - however this can lead to fish being skinned on shore and dumped in shallow water.

Mr Albiez said it was unknown how long it would take the fish to decompose.

"The time it takes a fish to decompose depends on a range of factors, most importantly the temperature. The higher the temperature, the faster the decomposition process," he said.

"Scavengers such as sea lice or other fish can also take the flesh from discarded fish carcasses before they decompose."

Jewfish is a term for a number of species of fish found in Australia and other areas.

Topics:  fish carcass jewfish noosa noosa river tewantin tewantin marina


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