UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO Peter O'Sullivan says Bundaberg seafood would be tested.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO Peter O'Sullivan says Bundaberg seafood would be tested. Sarah Steger

BREAKING: Testing reveals elevated PFAS levels in fish

FISH have returned positive traces of PFAS at four sites after testing by Gladstone Ports Corporation.

Earlier this year, GPC initiated voluntary water monitoring for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances at its three port precincts.

Sampling indicated some of the sites had elevated levels of PFAS when compared to national guidelines, prompting GPC to initiate a broader scope of sampling.

That involved undertaking a pilot seafood sampling program at Ship Creek within the Port Central precinct.

The results indicated traces of PFAS above national standards in four fish caught at one location in Ship Creek, near Gladstone.

GPC CEO Peter O'Sullivan said Bundaberg seafood had not been tested yet.

"The pilot seafood sampling program was conducted in Gladstone only," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"GPC will be undertaking a seafood sampling program in Bundaberg that complements similar work already initiated by Queensland Health in the area."

Mr O'Sullivan said sampling in the surrounding harbour did not return elevated levels, indicating it may be a confined issue.

"We wish to assure residents that these results do not relate to water connected to town supplies nor is it a waterway used for commercial fishing activities," he said.

GPC has alerted Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science.

"While GPC is not the source of the contaminant, it is committed to taking a proactive approach to ensure the environment it operates in is preserved and that the community continues to be kept informed of investigations," Mr Sullivan said.

"GPC and the Queensland Government are working together with port entities to determine the next course of action."

Based on the pilot sampling results, Queensland Health advises:

  • The public should avoid consuming fish from Ship Creek until the results of validation testing are received. However, infrequent consumption (every few months) of a meal of seafood (75g for children up to six years and 150g for the rest of the population) from the creek should not present a health risk.
  • Fish is an important part of a healthy diet.
  • Consumption of most species of fish from other areas should be limited to two to three serves per week in line with advice on mercury in fish published by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, where a serve is 75g for children up to six years and 150g for the rest of the population.
  • Anyone concerned about their health should talk their doctor or call 13 43 25 84.


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