Following a workshop in 2006 on emerging issues in alien fish management, the development of a Basin Alien Fish Plan was initiated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Work has been ongoing and the Plan is now available.
Alien fish impact on native species through predation, competition and by spreading diseases and parasites. However, these harmful impacts are not the only factors that have contributed to the decline of native fish and this means that alien fish cannot be managed in isolation – an integrated approach is needed. The goal of the Plan is to protect and restore native fish populations and habitats by managing alien fish species through a consistent and coordinated approach across the Basin.
Underpinning this plan is being proactive in preventing the introduction of new and emerging pest species through quarantine, legislation and education, which are the most cost-effective approaches. In some cases, prevention strategies will not entirely eliminate the risk of new incursions occurring and it is essential that responses to new incursions are implemented rapidly to give the best possible chance of eradicating the pest species.
Key objectives of the Plan are to:
- prevent the introduction of new alien fish into the Murray-Darling Basin.
- limit the further spread of existing alien species, both within and from, the Basin.
- ensure capacity exists within the Basin to detect and rapidly respond to new incursions of alien fish.
- use integrated management in key areas in the Basin to minimise the harmful impacts of
existing alien fish.
- achieve coordination and consistency in alien fish management across the Basin that leads
to more effective outcomes.
- effectively link research and management to maximise outcomes.
- garner community, government and other stakeholder support for and engagement in alien
fish management in the Basin and increase their capacity for action.
- integrate alien fish management with other initiatives and broader river rehabilitation and natural resource management programs.
Through the integration of alien fish management with other rehabilitation activities, the plan aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- positive environmental outcomes for aquatic communities, not just native fish.
- better integration of alien fish control initiatives with other river rehabilitation activities.
- greater coordination and cooperation in managing alien fish on a Basin-wide scale.
- targeted research leading to better management outcomes.
- environmental, economic and social benefits preserved by the prevention of future incursions.
- a community that is aware, supportive and engaged in positive on-ground actions.
Follow this link to read more Basin Alien Fish Plan Feb 2014
Sophie Van Dijk
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