DUE to NSW Government cost cutting measures, funding to joint funded activities of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has been slashed – as a result, the Native Fish Strategy will wind up in June 2013.
The Native Fish Strategy is one of a range of programs managed by the MDBA; the program has reportedly been very successful with wide ranging support from irrigators, rec fishers and conservationists. The strategy aims to restore native fish populations, including Murray cod and Macquarie perch to 60 per cent of numbers before European settlement. Current populations have been estimated to be around 10 per cent.
Other works under the strategy include a fish ladder project between the Murray mouth and Lake Hume, providing safe passage for fish through 2225 kilometres of river, numerous habitat restoration projects, community outreach programs, and key scientific research.
Fisheries staff have said they will continue to work with other jurisdictions to examine what, if any, actions could continue and how outcomes for native fish across the Murray Darling Basin could still be delivered.
As the agency responsible for the conservation and management of freshwater fish in NSW, Fisheries NSW will continue research, habitat protection and rehabilitation, fisheries management and stocking programs to ensure native fish are protected and the state’s freshwater recreational fisheries continue to thrive.