Finterest has been established to provide inspiration, knowledge and insight for anyone interested in Australian freshwater fish. The website was initially focused on the Murray-Darling Basin to provide a home for the great work that was accomplished through the Native Fish Strategy. You can read more about this below under ‘The Native Fish Strategy story so far’. We are now looking to broaden Finterest so that it has stories from across Australia, and not just the Murray-Darling Basin. We are committed to sharing the latest science and practice, and we hope you enjoy exploring our site.
The Native Fish Strategy – Story so far
“Bringing back native fish”
The Murray–Darling Basin is home to 46 native fish species ranging from the legendary metre-long Murray cod, to small prey such as the Olive perchlet and Rainbowfish. They evolved to endure the irregular flooding and drying cycles that are typical of the Basin, and each species has developed different tactics for hunting, building a home and finding a mate. Over half of the Basin’s native fish however, are considered rare, threatened and of conservation concern.
To address the challenges facing native fish, in 2003 a Native Fish Strategy was developed to guide investment in research and practice. In the first ten years of its history, the strategy has been highly successful in raising awareness and generating support for the management of native fish across the Basin.
The vision of the Strategy is to ensure that the Basin sustains viable and healthy fish populations throughout its rivers. Addressing multiple threats has the greatest chance of rehabilitating fish populations and improving river health. The Native Fish Strategy was structured around six Key Driving Actions that tackled a range of threats impacting native fish:
- Rehabilitating fish habitat
- Protecting fish habitat
- Managing riverine structures
- Controlling alien fish species
- Protecting threatened native fish species
- Managing fish translocation and stocking
All six of these drivers involved community engagement at their core to ensure the support and involvement of Basin communities. The Native Fish Strategy program focused on partnerships with stakeholders, community organisations and jurisdictional government agencies. Native Fish Strategy State Coordinators and the Community Stakeholder Taskforce were successful and vital elements in that process.
This website shares the incredible amount of work accomplished through the Native Strategy so that anyone with an interest can freely access this wealth of information. We are also hoping that the website will be the start of the next phase of the Native Fish Strategy so that the great work done to date can be built on to the future. To start exploring the website head back to the homepage, or read on to learn more about the team of people who were involved in running the Native Fish Strategy. We also ‘Key outcomes of the Native Fish Strategy Report 2003-2013′ that provides an excellent summary of all that was achieved.
Having a Great Team
The NFS was delivered by a network of people across the Murray-Darling Basin, and a governance structure was established to ensure its effective implementation. This model involved central coordination through the then MDBC, with jurisdictional participation and implementation by State and Territory government staff, and a variety of stakeholders, scientists and community representatives within groups and taskforces.