I took the first ferry over to Malcolm Island, we loaded the net into the boat and headed out on the water looking for the herring.
After about an hour of searching we found they were still hiding in around the government dock area and set the net right amongst the boats.
We found a school of herring hiding around the safety of a precarious dock structure and watched in shock as the reports form various witnesses was proven before our very own eyes. Many herring appeared to be sick and dying. They were swimming on their sides, bleeding from their fins and would flip over belly up. We weren't able to use the net but it was possible to catch many with a small dip net as they circled near the surface or floundered beneath the surface too weak to swim away. I watched one swim in tight circles nose down in a spiralling motion until it disappeared into the black below pulling my heart with it.
Many herring were bleeding from their fins and even under their scales.
We took our own samples and documented things we observed such as very pale gills.
As Alexandra said in her latest blog "the smart thing to do is to set up an independent volunteer board to decide how, where and what to test and to do that testing in a lab set on neutral territory where everything is open to scrutiny and results posted publicly. This needs to begin immediately as ISA virus has a deadly habit of increasing virulence. We cannot deal with this virus with our eyes shut. I am not at all comfortable with the federal government taking all the samples concerned in this case into a DFO lab. They should split them with the international OIE lab to give us complete confidence."