No shrimp on the Barbie for you!

Written by Sarah on October 14, 2011

Reports out of Queensland, Australia have indicated that both commercial and recreational fishermen in the area had been afflicted with mysterious skin boils and lesions. According to one industry rep, somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of local commercial fishermen broke out in what can best be described (by me) as the worst type of “Fishing Fever.”

A nefarious PETA plot? A barramundi’s revenge? No one there floated those theories. Instead, consensus seems to be that it was some kind of bacterial infection.

Dr Michael Gardner, president of the Queensland Seafood Industry Association, said in an Australian Broadcasting radio interview that “(W)hat it looks like to me is it looks like a bacterial infection. There are skin lesions that after exposure, only needs a scratch or an abrasion and then you develop a pimple-like lesion which expands and develops into a boil -  a boil-like lesion that then breaks down and leaves an ulcer. They persist for a time and heal and then further similar lesions break out elsewhere on the both upper and lower limbs.”

One sub-genius local angler reported that “he tasted some of the water and woke up the next day with a sore throat and mouth ulcers.” Memo to anglers. Don’t drink the water. Fish do their business there.

The local authorities completely shut down the fishery for three weeks. Probably a wise move. Still, it got me thinking: if the bite was red hot, what would it take to keep me off the water? I’m certainly not advocating doing anything dangerous or unhealthy, but there are times when they’re chewing and we’ve just got to be there to experience it. Fortunately, here in North America, despite the occasional problem, our governments take seriously the importance of clean water.

This blog was written by Facts of Fishing blogger, Pete Robbins.

Tags: , ,