Murray crayfish extinction risk – DPI proposes vulnerable species listing

COWRA COMMUNITY NEWS

THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is seeking public submissions on a proposal to list the endangered Murray crayfish as a vulnerable species.

DPI Director of aquaculture, conservation and marine parks, Bill Talbot, says the Fisheries Scientific Committee (FSC) has reviewed available information on Murray crayfish and found that the species is facing a high risk of extinction in New South Wales.

“Factors contributing to the decline of Murray crayfish include continued harvest by recreational fishers, habitat modification and loss, sedimentation, river regulation and the species’ intolerance of low dissolved oxygen concentrations caused by flooding,” says Mr Talbot.

“The FSC is seeking written submissions from the public on any information that may assist their deliberations, including information on abundance, distribution and any historical information, such as old catch records.

“I encourage any member of the public with relevant information to make a submission to the FSC.”

After the close of the consultation period, the FSC will consider all submissions before making a final determination on whether to list the species as a vulnerable species under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

“If listed, it will become an offence to harm, buy, sell, possess, or damage the habitat of Murray crayfish without a specific permit or licence,” says Mr Talbot.

The FSC is an independent scientific advisory body whose role is to determine the eligibility of nominated species through assessment against specified listing criteria, he says.

Submissions must be received in writing by Friday, December 21.

Submissions can be sent by email to fsc@dpi.nsw.gov.au or by mail to Fisheries Scientific Committee, c/- NSW Department of Primary Industries, 12 Shirley Rd, Wollstonencraft NSW 2065.

Further information from www.fsc.nsw.gov.au.

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