The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft Native Fish Strategy. This document is a high level framework to guide investment and implement priority actions.
Over 60 species of native fish live in the Murray-Darling Basin from its headwaters to the sea. Many of these species are endemic to Australia, with some existing only in the Murray–Darling Basin. The status of native fish in the Murray-Darling Basin has declined in the past two decades and almost half of the Basin’s freshwater species/populations are now considered threatened under national or state lists. Climate change will continue to exacerbate current threats to native fish with severe impacts including reduced species richness and local extinctions.
Given the declining status of fish in the Murray-Darling Basin, a Basin-wide native fish strategy is urgently needed to coordinate protection and restoration efforts. We endorse the overarching principles and priorities set out in the draft strategy.
Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists