Project number: 2007-057
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $27,000.00
Principal Investigator: John Russell
Organisation: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries EcoScience Precinct
Project start/end date: 13 Sep 2007 - 21 Sep 2008


Better understanding of the impacts of stocking was flagged as a key national issue by the recent FRDC sponsored workshop on fish stocking. Stocked fisheries now represent an alternative recreational fishery that simultaneously reduces fishing pressure on marine fish stocks and delivers considerable social and economic benefits to regional communities. An aging population and increased leisure time for workers will create additional demands for fishing in the future. The continued success of freshwater fish stocking in Queensland and other States is contingent on demonstrating it is sustainable under the principles of ESD. The impacts of fish stocking on recipient ecosystems and wild fish stocks are poorly understood and these activities have drawn adverse criticism from conservation groups and environmental management agencies.

On a national scale, the Department of the Environment and Water Resources are driving sustainability issues via the EPBC Act with stocking fish outside their native range being nominated as a threatening process. Within Queensland all native fish stocking applications are assessed on their risk to local aquatic communities; other States have similar procedures. However, the decision making processes are poorly supported by data related to the likely ecological risks of the proposed stocking activities. These data cannot be obtained solely from desk-top studies that draw largely on overseas literature. What is urgently needed is pertinent research, done in an Australian context, to address key data deficiencies including impacts of stocking fish outside their natural range, displacement of natural populations and loss of genetic diversity. To do this effectively and to promote “world’s best practice” in our stocking industry, the issues first need to be succinctly defined and then appropriate methodologies developed to address them in research projects.


1. Identify the major management concerns regarding the impacts of native freshwater fish stocking activities on recipient ecosystems and wild stocks
2. Hold a workshop of experts to agree on appropriate methodologies to address the previously identified management issues

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-7345-0401-2
Author: John Russell

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