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The Fish Community Index – a simple and robust tool for monitoring and reporting estuarine health

Hallett, C.S., Valesini, F.J. and Tweedley, J.R. (2015) The Fish Community Index – a simple and robust tool for monitoring and reporting estuarine health. In: ASFB Conference, 11 - 14 October, Sydney, Australia.

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Abstract

We outline the rationale, methodology and applications of the multimetric Fish Community Index (FCI), which was developed for monitoring and communicating the ecological health of the Swan Canning Estuary, Western Australia. Previous investigations have demonstrated the sensitivity of the FCI to environmental perturbations, including algal blooms of differing severity, and shown it to be sufficiently sensitive and robust to quantify and communicate spatial and temporal differences in the ecological condition of the system, thus helping to inform management actions. We describe the recent implementation of an annual FCI monitoring and reporting regime for the Swan Canning Estuary, and present an overview of spatial and temporal trends in the condition of this estuary in recent years. The capabilities of the FCI and the ecological implications of our results to date are also highlighted, using examples from both previously published and unpublished studies. Finally, we consider some potential applications and extensions of the FCI, and propose avenues for further research and investigation that could help to better understand the ecological responses of Western Australian estuaries to natural and anthropogenic stressors.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Notes: Oral presentation
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/28766
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