Save our barramundi
Our Barra is under threat!
Right now, big cotton interests from down south are planning to strip much of the surface and flood waters of our iconic Top End rivers - the Roper and Douglas-Daly. And new research has found that this could have a devastating impact on our barra!
This new research has confirmed that less water means less barramundi. In fact, stripping water out of the rivers has a direct, proportional impact on barramundi recruitment. For example the modelling found that stripping out 40% of the annual river flow is likely to cut barra recruitment in the Daly by up to half!
If big industry gets their way with huge plans to take more water from the floodplains along our rivers, what future is there for our barra?
Barramundi is our most iconic Top End fish – it’s the heart of our fishing lifestyle and local tourism economy. Our wet season river and floodplain runoff is critical to the productivity of the Territory's barramundi as they depend on these floodwaters for breeding.
We’ve seen the disastrous impacts of water extraction for cotton on the Murray-Darling Rivers. It would be a huge mistake to repeat that on the Roper and Daly.
We cannot let this happen.
Read the email that we'll send
Dear Chief Minister and Minister Lawler,
I am very concerned about the proposal to build on-farm dams, capture large volumes of surface water, bulldoze large areas of native bush, and grow industrial-scale crops like cotton along our mighty rivers and floodplains - the Roper and the Daly.
These great Territory rivers are the lifeblood of our coasts. The Roper flows into Limmen Bight Marine Park sustaining the ecosystem, which includes extensive seagrass beds, home to turtle and dugong populations and habitat for prawns, barramundi and mudcrab.
The Daly River is highly regarded as the premier barramundi sports fishing location in Australia. Tourists flock from all over to try and catch one of the Daly’s legendary trophy sized barramundi and explore one of the most beautiful and abundant rivers in Northern Australia.
A new study into the impacts of water extraction on the Daly River has revealed that less water means fewer barramundi. Decreasing river system flow is directly proportional to the decline in barramundi recruitment. This study predicted a negative impact in both wet and dry seasons, with recruitment more than halved in some scenarios. For example, an extraction of 40 per cent of annual river flow was predicted to result in a 40 to 50 per cent decline in barramundi recruitment in the Daly River.
The researchers say “there is a common perception that fresh water that flows into estuaries is “wasted to the sea” if it is not harnessed for consumptive uses. However, this research demonstrates that freshwater outflows are fundamental to maintaining fishery productivity, and depend on the strength of the wet season and the resulting river flows”.
We’ve seen the disastrous impacts of bad regulation, dams and water extraction for cotton on the Murray-Darling River. It would be a huge mistake to repeat them on the Roper and the Daly.
Without adequate safeguards in place led by local communities, destructive proposals threaten the health of the Roper and Daly Rivers. Healthy rivers and coasts are central to our Top End way of life, the great NT fishing experience and our economy. They are critical to our shared future for a better Territory.
I ask that you protect the Roper and Daly rivers by ruling out the proposal to harvest more surface water and run-off from their floodplains.
(Your name and suburb will be added here)
Please sign the petition calling on the Gunner Government to protect the Roper and Daly rivers by ruling out the proposal to strip away our rivers’ surface water and floodplain run-off - our barra depend on it.