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Marron, more than a meal. Harvey River restoration, Western Australia

Beatty, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2620-2826, Watsham, J., Emery-Butcher, H. and Morgan, D.L. (2019) Marron, more than a meal. Harvey River restoration, Western Australia. Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems, Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University

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Abstract

The Southwestern Province has the highest proportion of endemic fishes and crayfishes on the continent, and is a globally recognosed endemic hospot. Over the last few decades, there has been a growing body of evidence that has suggested that the inland aquatic fauna of the Southwestern Province of Western Australia is declining. Much of this decline has been driven by large scale modification to habitat quality and quantity. The loss of suitable habitats through stream channelisation, river regulation, land clearing, flood abatement and the impact of introduced species, has resulted in large-scale losses of aquatic fauna. This, coupled with the increasing impact of climate change driven reductions in rainfall and subsequent run-off and aquifer recharge continue to challenge the aquatic fauna and necessitates adaptive management to help with their conservation.

Since the turn of the Century, five of the region’s freshwater fish species, four freshwater crayfish species and the sole species of freshwater mussel have been listed as threatened under the Federal Government’s Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act 1999). Other species are variously listed under State legislation. Surprisingly, in 2013, the significant discovery of a previously undetected fish species was made, and since that time, several other species have been discovered in the region, but await formal description.

The Marron (Cherax cainii) is recognised as a south-western Australian aquatic icon, not only for the important and unique recreational fishery that it supports, but also for its aquaculture potential and the sheer size to which it attains; while also being considered a delicacy and a biological indicator of ecosystem health. The Marron, More than a Meal Project aims to demonstrate how the restoration of drainage channels can lead to an improvement of the aquatic ecosystems.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit
Series Name: Report to Alcoa Foundation, Greening Australia, Harvey River Restoration Trust.
Publisher: Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems, Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University
United Nations SDGs: Goal 14: Life Below Water
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/65721
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