One of the thousands of baby trevally that washed up at Cape Hillsborough.
One of the thousands of baby trevally that washed up at Cape Hillsborough. Allison Lane

Thousands of dead fish wash up at Cape Hillsborough in CQ

THOUSANDS of dead fish washed up on the beach at Cape Hillsborough during the weekend and trawlers are being blamed.

Visitors to the national park were greeted with what recreational fisherman Neville Taylor thought were baby trevally washed up on the beach.

"There were thousands of dead fish," Mr Taylor said.

"There were a couple of trawlers, possibly prawn boats, and they were dragging the nets back and forward between the islands.

"Tourists asked me if this was normal; wondering if it was because of pollution.

"It looks like it could be by-catch from the trawlers."

The area became a net-free fishing zone in November, however, trawling is permitted.

"It's pretty terrible," Mr Taylor said.

"It doesn't look good for tourists.

"Other by-catch (from trawling) could be turtles."

Lance Murray, team leader of Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance, said he'd received several phone calls over recent days about the number of trawlers in the area.

"This is what happens when you go prawn trawling," Mr Murray said.

"Recreational fishers have got to be reminded that cast-nets have incidental catch as well."


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