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Threats to estuarine fish assemblages

Published 5 April 2024 Assessing the impacts of marine infrastructure, stormwater drains and habitat condition on estuarine fish.


Why is this project important?

Estuaries and the key fish habitats within them such as seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh are important ecosystems, and home to a wide variety of marine life.

Estuaries are especially important to many recreationally and commercially targeted species as they provide nurseries rich in food and shelter for juvenile fish.

NSW estuaries and their habitats are under increasing threat from a range of stressors including pollution, extreme weather events, and poorly designed coastal infrastructure and a range of on water human uses.

What are we doing?

Monitoring fishes and their habitats in estuaries builds on our scientific knowledge of these systems and can help inform improved management of these systems.

This project will help to understand the influence of marine infrastructure, stormwater drains and natural habitats on estuarine fishes.

This information will help guide management decisions that minimise the impacts of human activities while maximising the benefits provided by the marine estate.

We are surveying estuarine fishes along the NSW coastline to assess the possible influence of human activities on estuarine fishes and important habitats.

This study will help to develop guidelines for the future management of marine infrastructure in estuaries, fish habitat and their fish assemblages.

Find out more about the importance of estuaries in NSW by going to the DPI Fisheries estuary webpage.

What have we achieved so far?

  • Over 70 baited remote underwater videos have been deployed in Pittwater to survey estuarine fishes.
  • More than 40 baited remote underwater videos have been deployed in south coast estuaries to survey fishes and monitor ‘red spot’ disease.
  • Data from this study has contributed to a collaborative report on the science of Gamay (Botany Bay) led by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science


Greater Sydney region

Lead agency

Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries

More information

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