Introduction in Australian inland waters of native or non-native fish that are outside their natural geographic distribution

Advice to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (the Committee) on an Amendment to the List of Key Threatening Processes under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

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Summary

The introduction of non-native or native fish outside their natural ranges is one of the major conservation issues in inland aquatic environments. Regional differences in fish communities are decreasing as non-native species become established and native species decline and, in some cases, become locally extinct (Rahel, 2002). Worldwide, six areas have been identified as invasion 'hotspots', including southern Australia and New Zealand. In these hotspots, non-native fish represent more than a quarter of the total number of fish species (Leprieur et al., 2008). Approximately 8% of Australia's freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction and 25% have significantly declined in distribution or occur in restricted areas (Wager and Jackson, 1993).

The Minister decided not to include this nomination in the list of key threatening processes on 11 November 2011.