Aquaculture for all

Fresh Case of Noosa Fish Abnormalities Investigation

Health Welfare Politics +3 more

AUSTRALIA - A Noosa fish hatchery has reported a fresh case of fish abnormalities including more two-headed embryos and a three-headed embryo.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the latest case will be investigated by the Noosa Fish Health Investigation Taskforce.

The Sunland Fish hatchery (the site of the other events being investigated) has reported that.

This time the abnormalities involve mullet.

Seven mullet (4 females and 3 males) were provided to the hatchery by fishermen who caught the fish at the mouth of the Noosa River.

There were two spawning events on 5 July. There was a further spawning event on 6 July.

Some embryos from spawnings showed twin heads.

There was also 1 fry seen with 3 heads approximately 50 percent of embryos had abnormal changes in the cell division process and very few viable fry were recovered.

The hatchery has reported that some of the eggs and embryos have been retained and placed in formalin, while the seven mullet and other eggs and embryos were thrown out.

Efforts will be made to retrieve them but they may be too degraded for meaningful analysis. The analysis of the retained samples will be limited because only formalin fixed samples are available.

It is understood that there was no spraying occurring at the macadamia farm adjoining the hatchery at the time of the spawnings and the fish were kept in freshly collected sea water.

Mr Mulherin said: "We are in contact with the hatchery and will be conducting a full investigation into this report of fresh abnormalities.

"The incident will be included in the taskforce's broader investigation into any links between fish health problems at the hatchery and the local Noosa River ecosystem," Mr Mulherin said.

Chief Biosecurity Officer Ron Glanville said more fish will be sourced from the Noosa River and spawned at Biosecurity Queensland's Bribie Island facility to assist with the investigation.

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