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Published: 15 January 2019   •   Media release

River managers, environmental water holders and fisheries scientists from Murray–Darling Basin governments met this afternoon to discuss some of the active management options for the months ahead, to manage any future fish kill events.

MDBA Chief Executive Phillip Glyde said today's meeting highlighted how well the governments came together to share information and identify options to manage this issue cooperatively.

"Sadly, fish death events are common across Australia, particularly during summer and drought conditions. The recent tragic fish deaths in the Lower Darling are a terrible reminder of the effects drought can have on our environment," Mr Glyde said.

Government officials shared insights into what they have been doing and committed to continue to strengthen the collaborative approaches already underway.

"We expect more fish kill events will occur across the Basin, before the current drought breaks."

The meeting discussed four areas that are being actively explored by governments.

"In some circumstances adding water may help protect key refuges for native fish.  This includes the use of available environmental water allocations and the use of consumptive water on route," Mr Glyde said.

"Aeration has the potential to provide localised refuges for native fish.  NSW has identified a number of priority areas where they are going to trial aeration.

"The meeting also discussed relocation of fish to protect critical species. In some cases moving fish to other healthier habitats could be considered. However, issues such as biosecurity and fish stress can make this option challenging.

"Finally participants expressed interest in exploring new technologies.

"Today's meeting was a solid start and will be followed by a further meeting of senior government officials on Tuesday 22 January, in Canberra."


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