These little fish were also spotted washed up on a Sunshine Coast beach.
These little fish were also spotted washed up on a Sunshine Coast beach.

Coolum to Cooloola: What's causing dead fish on beach?

THE thousands of dead fish found washed up on the Cooloola Coast have also been spotted on a Sunshine Coast beach.

A Coolum man, who asked to remain anonymous, noticed many of the small dead fish on his walk from Stumers Creek, near Coolum, toward Peregian last Wednesday evening

"It was very odd, there would probably have been close to hundred of these dead fish washed up on my two kilometre walk on the beach," he said.

The Gympie Times revealed there was a mass fish kill off the Cooloola Coast, between Teewah and Double Island Point, which had been reported to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Thousands more were reported to be lining the tide line along more than a kilometre stretch at Rainbow Beach.

The Coolum man said he had seen the article and they looked to be the same fish he had noted on the Coast.

"They were small, just like that, with what looked like a little horn," he said.

Rainbow Beach resident Ian Giesemann, who supplied the photograph (above) said the fish looked like leatherjackets.

This assessment was confirmed by Tin Can Bay fisher Joe McLeod.

"They are a small species of leatherjacket that often gather in dense schools, sometimes in plague proportions and die," Mr McLeod said.

"They are also a common trawler by-catch fish. They float when they die and sometimes wash up.

"It often happens on Fraser Island," he said.

The EHP representative said fisheries officers had taken part in joint investigations with EHP and it seemed they might be trawler by-catch.

"As in this case, the fish have mostly washed up over a large, relatively uninhabited area, the fish will be left to decompose naturally," the department representative said.

The Department was investigating if there had been any concerns raised on the Sunshine Coast.



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