Finterest has been established to provide inspiration and knowledge for anyone interested in Australian freshwater fish and in particular our native fish. The website focuses mainly on the Murray-Darling Basin as much of the research and experience gained through the Native Fish Strategy (2003-2013) and the Native Fish Recovery Strategy (2021-2023) funded through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is shared here.
Since 2013 Finterest has been continuing to share great stories and information about the work being undertaken across Australia to bring back native fish. We now have stories from across Australia, not just the Murray-Darling Basin, and we are open to all contributors, so if you have a story to tell please get in touch with us. To follow the emerging conversations about native fish please also join at our Facebook page.
We really hope you enjoy exploring the website, and please let others know about the great work being undertaken across Australia to bring back native fish.
The Native Fish Strategy – Bringing back native fish
The Murray–Darling Basin is home to more than 51 native fish species ranging from the legendary metre-long Murray cod, to small-bodied fish like 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 these Strategies so that anyone with an interest can freely access this wealth of information, as well as providing updates on fish research and practice as it emerges.