posted 8 April, 2022

Fintastic result as endangered fish conservation efforts receive funding boost!

This week, representatives from NRM South met with Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP and Liberal Candidate for Lyons, Susie Bower to announce grant funding for two new conservation projects focusing on red handfish and swan galaxia, two endangered fish species that are listed as priority species under the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Strategy.

Funded under the Australian Government’s Environmental Restoration Fund, close to half a million dollars in funding has been allocated to these projects, which will focus on protecting the species from further decline and putting actions in place that will help to secure their survival over the long term.

Red handfish are only found at select sites in southeast Tasmania and are one of the most vulnerable marine fish species in the world. Relying on modified hand-shaped fins to move across the seabed, they are only able to move short distances and can only live in areas that meet very specific conditions – which makes them highly vulnerable to extinction.

Swan galaxias are a lesser-known species of small freshwater fish that only remains at a few headwater stream sites in eastern Tasmania. They are largely under threat from introduced fish species such as trout and redfin perch and are one of the most at-risk freshwater fish species in Australia.

‘There are 19 fish species listed under Tasmania’s Threatened Species Protection Act. As part of our updated Regional Strategy to 2030, which will be launched in the near future, NRM South is committed to supporting our most critically endangered species,’ explained Nepelle Crane, CEO of NRM South. ‘Swan galaxias and the handfish group have both been prioritised for action as part of our new Strategy. This funding will be critical in supporting recovery efforts for two fish species that are not only at high risk of extinction but are also unique to our region.’

NRM South is looking forward to working with partners in the state government, CSIRO, University of Tasmania, NRM North and the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies to get project activities underway.

Click here for a link to the official media release;