• Community invited to be part of the Native Fish Management and Recovery Strategy
  • Coalition Government committed $88 million to secure future fish health
  • An emergency response plan for the Basin to be in place in preparation for summer

Work is underway to protect native fish in the Darling River this summer withan early warning system and special fish refuges.

Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said a range of emergencymeasures identified by Professor Robert Vertessy would be in place beforeentering the high-risk season.

“Unless we get good rain soon we will see more fish deaths this summer,”Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re taking steps right now to make sure an Emergency Response Plan is inplace.

“The states and MDBA are setting up early warning systems that monitorconditions in the Basin.

“This will tell us where to put aerators to create fish refuges where they’reneeded most.

“We will also be on the front foot if we need to relocate fish.

“No-one wants a repeat of last summer’s events and without rain, conditionsfor native fish are likely to deteriorate and we need to plan for a quickresponse.

“We also need to think long-term and we need Basin communities to get involvedin developing an ongoing strategy to protect native fish.

“Local communities are passionate about native fish health and it’s importantthey have the opportunity to help set the direction of the Native FishManagement and Recovery Strategy.

“I encourage fishing groups, tourism operators and other community members toget involved as they know their river and local fish populations better thananyone.

“Scientists are working on this now, but we also need local knowledge to makesure the strategy is fit for purpose.

“I have asked for the Native Fish Management and Recovery Strategy to befinalised by April 2020.

“We’ve also committed $88 million to a comprehensive program for fish researchand recovery, rebuilding the health of ecosystems and providing emergencyresponses during drought.

“This includes rolling out the recommendations from the Vertessy Report inresponse to the fish deaths in the Lower Darling River last summer.”

To have your say on the draft native fish management and recovery strategy goto: www.getinvolved.mdba.gov.au/native-fish-strategy

Fast facts:

  • The Bureau of Meteorology has warned hot, dry conditions are likely to continue this spring.
  • Three fish death events happened along a 40 km section of the Darling River last summer
  • The Coalition Government established an Independent panel led by Professor Rob Vertessy to assess the fish deaths and to prevent further such events.
  • Native fish are important culturally, ecologically and economically with recreational fishing contributing around $1.3 billion a year to local economies in the Murray–Darling.

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