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Added protection for freshwater fish habitats

Last month new laws came into effect to ensure protection of NSW freshwater fish habitats.

For the first time the laws recognise snags, freshwater aquatic vegetation, gravel beds, cobbles, boulders and rock bars as important habitats for native freshwater fish.

A dredging permit is now required under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 by any person or local Council who wants to remove any such habitats from a waterway or undertake work that can potentially disturb, harm or relocate freshwater habitats.

Public authorities carrying out or authorising such works are also required to seek the concurrence of Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) before undertaking or authorising such works.

The new laws will also allow the issuing of on the spot fines and/or remediation orders if these important habitats are illegally removed, disturbed or harmed.

The maximum penalties for breaches of the new laws are $110,000 for an individual or $220,000 for a Corporation or local Council.

More information can be obtained from Sarah Fairfull on (02) 6626 1369 or email at: Sarah.Fairfull@industry.nsw.gov.au

 

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