9.6 C
Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Murray-Darling needs a native fish plan

Latest News

MAYDAY – MAYDAY – One hundred years ago today

One hundred years ago this week, around noon on Saturday 14 May 1921, the 2,000 tonne steamship Wollongbar ran aground on Belongil beach.

Other News

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Deep listening and housing ideas under Mullum’s fig trees for Renew Fest

Around a hundred presenters, musicians, other artists and community activators plus a bumper crowd of punters all came together under the fig trees at the Mullumbimby Showground over the weekend for Renew Fest 2021.

Creative carbon capture

Desmond Bellamy – Special Projects Coordinator, PETA Australia, Byron Bay Last week, the Australian government pledged half a billion dollars for ‘clean’...

Ageism alive and well

Margaret Boshier, St Ives I have been spending time in the ocean since before I could walk; I grew up...


Gareth Smith, Byron Bay Trade Minister Dan Tehan wants to refer China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because he...

Echo turns 35 and You are invited!

This year The Echo turns 35, and to celebrate this momentous anniversary they are putting on The Echo Community Awards – and everyone is invited!

A successful Native Fish Strategy, which has seen a resurgence of species in the Murray-Darling, will not continue beyond 2013 becausestate-based funding for the program has been cut back.

Two organisations representing very diverse sections of the community are calling on the federal government to establish a 10-year native-fish action plan based on the model.

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Murray-Darling Basin Recreational Fishing Council (MDBRFC) are concerned the benefits of the popular Native Fish Strategy – which, during its 10 years of operation, provided clear and wide-ranging benefits to native fish, river health and communities in the Murray-Darling Basin – are about to be lost.

And this may spell disaster for threatened native species that were in dramatic decline prior to the establishment of the strategy.

In the past century populations of native fish species in the Murray-Darling Basin have suffered serious decline, in distribution and abundance, while many invasive species have thrived due to a range of river health issues such as changed river flows, barriers to fish passage, loss of habitat and poor water quality.

Nine of the Basin’s 35 native fish species are nationally ‘threatened’, two are critically endangered and 16 are threatened under state jurisdictions.

Native fish populations are at roughly 10 per cent of pre-European settlement levels.

The health of native fish populations is a key indicator of river health in the Basin.

With a final Murray-Darling Basin Plan – to restore the necessary environmental flows back to the rivers of the Basin – due to be completed in this term of federal government, now is the time to strengthen programs that complement Basin rivers’ flow management and engage communities in looking after their rivers.

Even with native fish populations at risk, recreational fishing remains one of the most significant industries in the Murray-Darling Basin.

People spend $1.4 billion on recreational fishing every year, providing almost 11,000 jobs.

Many Murray-Darling native fish species are highly valued by communities, especially in regional areas.

Fish habitat restoration is accepted as a key method for restoring native fish populations; restoration already undertaken in the Murray-Darling Basin is showing results.

This year, the International River Foundation’s Australian ‘Riverprize’ was awarded to the Condamine Alliance of Queensland for its successful work in restoring native fish populations and river health.

An action plan to increase native fish populations across the Murray-Darling Basin is needed now.

ACF and the MDBRFC are urging federal environment minister Tony Burke to commit to a plan that will:
• operate across all Murray-Darling Basin jurisdictions
• build on already identified priority actions by state agencies and communities.
• deliver outcomes in two five-year tranches with a review period after four years
• engage regional communities in delivering these actions and provide the knowledge to underpin the work that needs to be done.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Development of the Belongil Spit

Jo Faith, Newtown I was gobsmacked when I read that the ‘Greens’ mayor’s parting gift was to aid privatisation of land at the Belongil Spit. Indeed, it...

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

Owing to the resignation of former Mayor at the end of April, a vote was held today to replace Simon Richardson, until the next election

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.