While I like my fishing, and in particular barramundi fishing, this was under threat in 1986 with a disease running rampant through top end fish stocks.
The disease was call red-spot, or more accurately by the scientists, Epizootic ulcerative syndrome, and concern was raised that it may affect both commercial and amateur stocks, as well as the NT tourist industry itself.
[flv:https://www.raeallen.net/video/barramundi-red-spot.flv 550 412]
To quote the NT governments Fishnote:
It begins as a small area of reddening over a single scale, which subsequently spreads to involve a number of adjacent scales; this is the characteristic ‘red spot’. As the condition progresses, the ‘red-spot’ expands and deepens, giving a deep ulcer, which sometimes extends into the abdominal cavity. Some fish, especially barramundi (Lates calcarifer) develop unilateral or bilateral cloudiness of the cornea; these changes in the eye may or may not be accompanied by lesions in the skin
Whatever the problem, it did allow me to get back out on Corroboree Billabong to shoot this story for the 7.30 Report.
Talent: Roland Griffin, Fisheries Research; Neil Almond, Amateur Fishermen’s Association; John Humphrey, Fish health laboratory
( To air: ABC-TV 7.30 Report, 25 September 1986, Duration: 6:17 )