MDBA uses local knowledge to assist fish conservation
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced its plans to use extensive community consultations with local fishers to further scientific understanding of fish species in the Basin.
The Native Fish Strategy will continue to record the experiences of recreational fishers in addition to local, historical and cultural knowledge in an attempt to better manage fish species in the Basin.
The Native Fish Strategy is being implemented through 13 objectives directed at improving the status of native fish populations in the Murray–Darling Basin. Rehabilitation of aquatic ecosystems is fundamental to achieving the strategy’s objectives.
The 13 objectives are:
- Repair and protect key components of aquatic and riparian habitats.
- Rehabilitate and protect the natural functioning of wetlands and floodplain habitats.
- Improve key aspects of water quality that affect native fish.
- Modify flow regulation practices.
- Provide adequate passage for native fish.
- Devise and implement recovery plans for threatened native fish species.
- Create and implement management plans for other native fish species and communities.
- Control and manage alien fish species.
- Protect native fish from threats of disease and parasites.
- Manage fisheries in a sustainable manner.
- Protect native fish from the adverse effects of translocation and stocking.
- Ensure native fish populations are not threatened from aquaculture.
- Ensure community and partner ownership and support for native fish management.
"By working with recreational fishers, we can draw on their experiences and suggestions about how individual fish species and fisheries can be better conserved," said an MDBA spokesperson.
The project also develops the community's understanding of the link between river health and fish numbers, which affects recreational fishing.
Six driving actions have been put in place to achieve these objectives, including management, research and investigation, and community engagement. These actions (and the objectives they are helping to achieve) can be summarised as:
- rehabilitating fish habitat (objectives 1–8)
- protecting fish habitat (objectives 1–8)
- managing riverine structures (objectives 4–8)
- controlling alien fish species (objectives 6–9)
- protecting threatened native fish species (objectives 6 and 10)
- managing fish translocation and stocking (objectives 9–12).