Endangered Pygmy Perch given second chance at survival
An endangered fish species is being given a better chance at survival, thanks to an innovative project being conducted by scientists, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.
Minister Macdonald said around 1,500 Southern Pygmy Perch (Nannoperca australis) have been relocated to the Department of Primary Industries’ Narrandera Fisheries Centre.
“Our scientists are doing everything possible to ensure the endangered Pygmy Perch has a chance of surviving the drought, which continues to take its toll on waterways across the state,” Mr Macdonald said.
“The waterholes these fish call home are drying up rapidly, so the fish are extremely vulnerable to predators like birds.
“As a temporary emergency measure, the Pygmy Perch have been taken from Billabong Creek near Holbrook, Blackney Creek in Yass and Coppabella Creek in the Upper Murray and are now enjoying a temporary home at our fisheries centre at Narrandera.
“The Southern Pygmy Perch were once widely distributed throughout the southern Murray Darling Basin, as well as coastal streams in South Australia and Victoria, north-eastern Tasmania and King and Flinders Islands in Bass Strait.
“However unfortunately over the last 30-40 years there has been a large-scale reduction in the numbers of Pygmy Perch, they are listed as an endangered species in NSW, with just three known remnant populations remaining.”
The fish will be returned to the location of capture when conditions allow.
“Other options are also being considered for conserving the remaining Southern Pygmy Perch, including a breeding program to protect the species against further risk from the ongoing drought,” Mr Macdonald said.
There are heavy penalties for harming, possessing, buying or selling Southern Pygmy Perch.
Information about the species is available from the NSW DPI website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries
Any information relating to illegal fishing should be reported immediately to the nearest NSW DPI Fisheries Office or to the Fishers’ Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536.
More information about fishing rules and regulations can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au