News & Events

26/02/19 – WRM’s electrofisher vessel draws a crowd at the WA Wetland Management Conference

World Wetlands Day (celebrated annually on the 2nd of February) is always a significant day for us passionate aquatic ecologists here at WRM. We usually like to mark the occasion by attending the annual Western Australian Wetland Management Conference, hosted by the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre, just south of Perth. However, this year we went one better, with Senior Consultants Mel and Chris hosting an interactive display, and performing a short presentation, on the use of electrofishing to support the management of urban wetland health.

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The WA Wetland Management Conference provides an opportunity for the exchange of information and ideas between wetland practitioners, with a focus on the latest developments about how to effectively manage and restore wetlands. This year’s theme followed the Ramsar theme for 2019 of ‘Wetlands and Climate Change’, highlighting the important role of wetlands as a natural solution to climate change. This year’s sub-themes included wetland management and restoration, wetland education and wetland policy.

Our display and talk focussed on the sub-theme of wetland management and restoration, where we set up (but did not turn on!) our custom-built electrofishing vessel out in the Education Centre’s grounds, and discussed its functions, features and applications for the management of invasive species, such as koi-carp (Cyprinus carpio) and goldfish (Carassius auratus). As one of the more unique displays at the conference (if we do say so ourselves!), the electrofisher sure drew a crowd, and it was great to talk to so many people who were familiar with, and interested in, invasive fish species, and how to go about managing their populations.

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Other informative presentations included those by Melita Pennifold (DBCA/Bennelongia Environmental Consultants), who presented findings on changes in aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in south-western Australia, and Dr Jane Chambers (Murdoch University), who is facilitating NatureLink Perth, a new initiative focussed on integrating science, politics, industry, management and the community to enable nature based urban design. Melita and Jane are two scientists we have worked closely with in the past, and are good friends of WRM. It was a great privilege to have the opportunity to present in such great company.

As always, the conference was a great occasion, and we’d like to say a big thanks to Denise Crosbie and the team at the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre, for giving us the opportunity to host our display, and for organising yet another successful conference. We’ll be sure to be back in 2020!

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