Sick fish in the bay – even before Channel Deepening begins!

Port Phillip and Hobson’s Bay have suddenly produced a wide range of very sick fish.
What is going on??

Professional and recreational fishermen as well as the Greens and Blue Wedges joined forces today to condemn this frightening discovery – and to call a complete halt to channel deepening until it is fully investigated.

“We have not seen anything on this scale since the days of scallop dredging” said John Willis, an amateur fisherman with 45 years’ experience.

Local professional fisherman Phil Mc Adam agrees. “In the strongest possible terms this must be addressed. We’ve read the reports in the press. We’ve read what the EPA and DPI have to say. And they’ve got no answers.”

The fishing and boating industry contributes approximately $2 billion annually to Victoria’s economy. All this is thrown into doubt when sick fish are suddenly turning up from Port Melbourne to Werribee South. And that’s only what is known so far. The list covers at least seven popular species.

What and where will be the next discoveries?

“If we’re being told not to even touch these fish, let alone eat them, something serious is wrong”, said Dr Jo Samuel-King of Earthcare.

“If our Government bodies are telling us in the same breath not to go near them but they don’t know what the problem is, then that rings loud warning bells. It is clear that whatever the cause turns out to be, our bay is already under stress.”

Blue Wedges now call for a FULL INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION of the situation. Not by departments of a government who is proud to declare its undivided support of channel deepening.

Water quality is a direct link to sick fish. In the interest of public health and safety we need to know the full causes of the contamination before the PoMC Channel Deepening Project starts.

“There MUST BE A HALT to the commencement of dredging until an INDEPENDENT assessment is done AND made public”, said John Willis, “The public expects no less.”

Blue Wedges call on Federal Environment, Heritage and the Art Minister Peter Garrett to halt the project by not approving the imminent yet undisclosed Environment Management Plan.


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