Conservation of aquatic invertebrate biodiversity in NSW
In NSW the legislation that covers the management of and conservation of aquatic biodiversity of the state’s aquatic biodiversity is the Fisheries Management Act 1994. Section 7 of this Act deals with conservation-related issues such as protection of aquatic habitats, noxious fish & marine plants and threatened species conservation. The Act covers not just fish, but also all aquatic invertebrates and marine plants (algae, seagrasses and mangroves). Currently, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has responsibility for this Act.
In terms of aquatic invertebrates, areas in which DPI has a current management and/or research focus include:
- Harvested species (e.g., prawns, mud crabs, squid)
- Aquaculture species (e.g., oysters, mussels, yabbies)
- Effects of fishing activities (e.g., impacts of trawling on benthic invertebrates)
- Introduced species (e.g., Pacific oysters, NZ screw shell, European shore crab)
- Listed threatened species (e.g., River snail, 2 dragonflies, Buchanans fairy shrimp)
- Species considered at risk because of low or declining numbers (e.g., fresh water mussels)
This presentation will provide an overview primarily of the issues surrounding the conservation of aquatic invertebrates in NSW, with an emphasis on molluscan species. Current initiatives will be described, ongoing challenges will be explored and future research needs will be identified.