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Actions to Restore Fish Passage in New Zealand: From Science to Policy and Back Again

Author(s): Paul Franklin; Eleanor Gee; Cindy Baker

Linked Author(s): Paul Franklin, Eleanor Gee

Keywords: No keywords

Abstract: New Zealand’s native freshwater fish communities are characterised by a prevalence of diadromy, with a dominance of amphidromous species that undertake their primary upstream migrations as small-bodied (20-60 mm TL) juveniles. These species are highly susceptible to even small impediments to upstream movement (e.g., vertical drops <100 mm), presenting a significant challenge for managing the impacts of riverine infrastructure on river connectivity. Effective action to restore fish passage requires awareness of the problem, evidence-based solutions, and an appropriate policy context. We describe how delivering credible, relevant and legitimate fish passage science and tools has facilitated a new approach to fish passage management in New Zealand. This includes new national policies designed to prevent the creation of new instream barriers at common infrastructure such as culverts and weirs, and that require documentation and remediation of existing fish passage barriers across the national river network.


Year: 2022

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