Native fish in the Murray-Darling Basin have faced tough conditions over the past few years, including widespread drought, reduced water availability and more recently, the effects of intense bushfires. The increased pressure on our native fish has been highlighted by multiple fish death events occurring over the past two summers, including in the Lower Darling River in 2018/19, where anecdotal estimates indicated that hundreds of thousands to potentially three million fish perished.

Commonwealth and Basin State governments have responded with a multi-faceted management approach, including immediate emergency management and critical incident responses. Importantly, governments also recognised that longer-term actions are needed to rebuild healthy and resilient native fish populations, in line with community expectations. As a result, the Australian government committed to develop the Native Fish Recovery Strategy (the Strategy).

For this Strategy to succeed it is vital that the priorities and needs of all stakeholders are reflected within this Strategy.

Following public consultation on an initial framework in September 2019, the release of this draft Strategy for public submissions provides further opportunity for communities across the Basin to contribute to shaping the outcomes, actions and priorities for the recovery of native fish. This opportunity is open till the 6th of April 2020, and the feedback provided will be incorporated into the final Strategy in coming weeks, which will be released in May 2020.

Have your say on the official Get Involved page here.

The development of the Strategy is a first step in an adaptive, evolving process. Ongoing engagement will be a core element of the Strategy from its finalisation through to its implementation. We aim to build enduring partnerships with communities to design and implement on-ground actions for our native fish.