Turtle

“Habitat makes fish happen!” - Native Fish Awareness week 2011

Tuesday 8 November, 2011
This year’s Native Fish Awareness Week is going online with its “Habitat makes fish happen!” theme in a new strategy aimed at reaching around half a million recreational fishing buffs in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin.

This year’s Native Fish Awareness Week is going online with its “Habitat makes fish happen!” theme in a new strategy aimed at reaching around half a million recreational fishing buffs in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin.

Native fish species in the Basin have suffered serious declines in both distribution and abundance since European settlement mainly due to the loss of habitat. The goal of the Native Fish Strategy is to rehabilitate native fish numbers back to 60 per cent of their estimated pre-European settlement levels.

Fishers and communities of the Basin are being encouraged to learn more about how they can help bring back native fish by visiting the new native fish week website (www.nativefishweek.com.au) and getting involved. Native Fish Awareness Week runs from November 5 to 12 across the Murray-Darling Basin.

The week will raise awareness of the plight of native fish across the Basin and promote activities in which everyone can be involved, including planting trees, removing weeds and putting logs back into waterways.

The week will celebrate efforts by communities and recreational fishers that contribute to improving populations and habitats of native fish across the Murray-Darling Basin.

Wayne Tennant from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, and Member of the Native Fish Community Stakeholder Taskforce said “Native fish have declined across the Murray-Darling Basin because essential habitat such as deep pools, aquatic plants, submerged logs and riverbank vegetation have been severely degraded,”

However, communities throughout the basin, including recreational fishers, are increasingly involved in delivering effective ways to boost native fish populations, such as improving river banks, tree planting, education and helping to monitor fish,” he said.

The launch of Native Fish Awareness Week will happen on Sunday November 6 at Coorong and the Lower Lakes in South Australia. An intensive line-up of community engagement activities will continue across the Basin throughout the week, including a number of events throughout the local Goulburn Broken, Murray and North East catchments.

Wayne Tennant said “We have been encouraged by the support of schools, local communities and recreational fishers in previous years. We will build on this success, and learn more from natural resource management agencies and communities about the value of native fish, and their lifestyle, including their habitat, friends and foes, breeding and how fish travel through our river systems.”

Native Fish Awareness Week will see also the launch of the Basin-wide ‘Talking Fish’ project - a collection of stories, anecdotes and photos from fishers, community members and Aboriginal people illustrating what fishing ‘used to be like’ across the Basin.

More information Native Fish Awareness Week website - www.nativefishweek.com.au

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