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Australia's Queensland fishermen fall ill after handling sick fish

09-21-2011 15:45 BJT

BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Seven Australian fishermen are believed to have caught a mystery illness from sick fish in a central Queensland harbor, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Queensland Government agency Fisheries Queensland has put in place a temporary closure on fishing in an area centered on Gladstone Harbour in central Queensland after some fish were reported with cloudy eyes and lesions.

The State Government agency Biosecurity Queensland is conducting tests to identify a condition affecting some locally- caught fish with results due by Friday.

Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers on Wednesday told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) seven fishermen fell sick after handling the sick fish.

"Nobody is to handle the fish because we have had fishermen fall ill," Sellers said.

"I think seven of them, mostly professional fishermen, got sick, " she added.

"I thought they were in hospital but I have since found out they weren't and they are now well."

But she did not know what symptoms they had.

However, Queensland Health said they were not aware of any fishermen falling ill.

After meeting the government officials on Wednesday, the Gladstone Mayor said she was instructed to continue a ban on all fishing in the harbor and was guaranteed the government would keep the council and her community informed.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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