Rare fish decline in region

Several marine species along Northern NSW coastlines are “threatened with extinction”.
Several marine species along Northern NSW coastlines are “threatened with extinction”.

SEVERAL marine species unique to Northern NSW coastlines are “threatened with extinction” according to a new survey conducted by Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

The study aimed to identify critical habitats of rare marine species between Tweed Heads and Laurieton.

Author of the survey Dr Steven Purcell of the National Marine Science Centre said the survey would help determine new marine zoning areas to increase protection of the rare fish species.

“We found from the survey that it would be a good idea to include deeper waters in the new zoning plans,” he said.

No sightings were recorded of the Ballina angelfish, the elegant wrasse, or any sea horses, and very few sightings were made of the eastern blue devilfish and the ornate ghost pipefish.

All are considered iconic to the area.

Mr Richards said he could not say why there had been so few sightings of some of the species, but he said divers and boat users should be more careful around reef areas.

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