During January the Native Fish Recovery Strategy team have been focused on developing & refining content for the draft Strategy which will be released for public feedback in early March. Workshops were held with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), Cultural Advisory Group (CAG) to inform content. Both groups play an advisory role for the strategy, with the TAG comprised of technical experts & scientists, and the CAG comprised of representatives from various Aboriginal nations and organisations within the Basin.
Expert input from these advisory groups was supplemented by outcomes from the targeted stakeholder workshops and findings of the online survey held late last year. The survey highlighted several key considerations for the Native Fish Recovery Strategy (NFRS). Most notably, respondents agreed that for the Strategy to succeed it would need to build on the success of the 2003 Native Fish Strategy and re-engage with community. Further, the new NFRS must incorporate a holistic approach to managing rivers. It will be critical to consider how those systems will be impacted by climate change and a strong emphasis was also placed on the need to increase the connectivity of the river throughout the Basin and provide flows to allow passage for native fish. Respondents additionally highlighted that further research into best management practices will be important, and these insights should also incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge from First Nations peoples. Overall, the survey responses illustrated a strong desire for communities to be better involved in the drafting and implementation of the NFRS.
The public survey, workshop outcomes and feedback from the public consultation process on the draft Strategy (in March) will be incorporated into the final Strategy, due for release at the end of April 2020. At this stage, it is envisaged that the Strategy will be the first step in an ongoing, adaptive process. As we move into implementation we aim to build partnerships with communities to implement on-ground actions for our native fish.