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New community tool to actively protect threatened fish species

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is launching a new and improved tool for the community to report sightings of threatened fish and aquatic vegetation, as part of Threatened Species Day.

NSW DPI Senior Fisheries Manager, Threatened Species, Dr Trevor Daly, said reporting sightings is a simple but critical way the community can actively contribute to the broader management picture.

“There are currently 34 aquatic species listed as threatened in NSW from both our freshwater and marine environments, and we have a variety of recovery actions and strategies in place across the state to address this,” Dr Daly said.

“One of those strategies is our online form which can be found on DPI’s website, or through a link on DPI’s FishSmart App, to report any threatened species they see or accidentally catch. 

“The reports received from the public will be incorporated into DPI’s database of threatened species in NSW. This will assist NSW DPI Fisheries to actively monitor the number, location and movements of these important species.

“It’s a simple tool, but the outcomes for conservation can be huge.”

Dr Daly said there are user-friendly links to follow for information and examples so people can check differences between particular threatened species and similar but more common species, as well as guides and videos to show you identifying features.

“There is also a mapping tool so that people can drop a pin at their sighting location, and upload their own photos and videos, both of which provide crucial information for fisheries managers and researchers,” Dr Daly said.

“This information will help us to increase our knowledge of the status and distribution of each threatened species, will add significant value to our fish species surveys and habitat mapping, and support the on-going management of threatened aquatic species across the state. “This tool comes at a critical time as we prepare for a horror spring and summer for native fish, and will be a key source of information to help guide recovery efforts. This includes alerting NSW DPI Fisheries to critical locations where threatened fish are struggling or stranded in drying pools.

“This tool is a key way the community can actively contribute to helping threatened fish recover from this drought. NSW DPI Fisheries and the community will continue to work together to replenish our rivers and ensure the survival of our native fish across the State both in the short-term and into the future.”

For more information, or to report a threatened species, download the FishSmart App, visit the website, https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/species-protection/report-it or email fisheries.threatenedspecies@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

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