Two protected Australian lungfish illegally kept at a Gympie property andseized by Fisheries Queensland have been donated to Sea Life Sunshine CoastAquarium.
The lungfish, named Alve and Neo, were found during a joint search byQueensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Queensland Police in October 2020,and have since been in the care of the Department of Environment and Science’sQueensland and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
Mark Furner, Minister for Agriculture Industry Development and Fisheries, saidthe fish were donated after a successful compliance investigation.
“There is a clear community expectation that these iconic Queensland lungfishare protected, and this is an important step for the conservation of thisvulnerable species. Sea Life Sunshine Coast will use the lungfish for thepurpose of education, research, and environmental protection. There are realbenefits for both the community and the species’ future, by having these fishon display.”
Denice Askebrink, Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium’s Displays Supervisor, saidshe welcomed the donation.
“These iconic and unique creatures are endangered in the wild due to habitatdegradation and also, not many juveniles surviving to adult age.
“Just as the name suggests, this fish has a lung, as well as gills like anormal fish. But the most fascinating thing about these animals is that theycan also encase their body in a cocoon made of mucus to remain moist whenthere is a drought, so they can survive until there is water back in thecreeks and rivers.”
Following an investigation, it was revealed the resident of the Gympieproperty had also been unlawfully in possession of Australian lungfish eggs.
Furner said the detection of the eggs highlights the emerging black-marketinterest in Queensland’s endemic fish species such as lungfish.
“The detection of a significant quantity of Australian lungfish eggs isconcerning and beyond what our fisheries officers normally see.”
Tagged: Fisheries Queensland, lungfish, Sea Life
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