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Chemical Regulator Notes Inconclusive Two-Headed Fish Report

Date: 16 June 2009
Ref: 2009/08

‘The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government’s Noosa Fish Health Investigation Task Force following the inconclusive findings into the death and deformity of fish outlined in its Interim Report released today,’ APVMA spokesperson Dr Simon Cubit said today.

One of the activities undertaken by the Task Force was to investigate if agricultural chemicals might have been responsible. To this end extensive environmental testing was undertaken

‘With the exception of one fish feed sample, the Interim Report indicated that no evidence was found of any agricultural chemical at the fish farm.’

‘The Interim Report concluded that it was plausible that some of the adverse events reported by the fish hatchery could have been caused by chemicals. This means that theoretically it is possible chemicals played a role.’ 

‘However at this stage, the Taskforce has not been able to find evidence to support that chemicals actually were involved,’ Dr Cubit said

‘Given this lack of any direct link between agricultural chemicals and the impacts observed at the fish farm, the APVMA has no basis for taking regulatory action at this time.’

The APVMA will continue to engage with the Task Force in its continuing scientific investigations and consider any new evidence that may emerge.

It will also continue to progress a current initiative of reviewing the conditions of use of pesticide spray products to reduce spray drift risk.

The Task Force was established by the Queensland Government in January 2009 to investigate incidents of fish kills and deformities of fish larvae at a fish hatchery at Boreen Point near the Noosa River from 2006 to 2008.


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Download the PDF version: Chemical Regulator Notes Inconclusive Two-Headed Fish Report (PDF, 32kb)

Download the Noosa Fish Health Investigation Taskforce - Interim Report #1 June 2009 (external site)