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A decision support tool for the management of freshwater pest fish incursions in Australia


  • Silvana Acevedo,

  • Stephen Saddlier,

  • Pam Clunie,

  • Renae Ayres


There are no national emergency response arrangements for freshwater pest fish incursions in Australia. Individual States and Territories vary widely in their current response arrangements to freshwater pest fish incursions, with many being dealt with on an ad-hoc basis and with varying degrees of efficacy. In recognition of this, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre funded a project to ‘Advance the development of national emergency response arrangements for freshwater fish incursions in Australia’. One of the recommendations of this project was creating a web-based support tool (DST) to provide direction and assistance in managing freshwater pest fish incursions. This article describes the DST created. The DST leads the user through a series of questions relating to the species sighting, details of the fish and its capture, and site information at a particular location. These questions address issues that managers must consider when choosing appropriate control techniques. Information entered in two sections (site details and fish details) influence the suggested control techniques. The final product of the DST is a standard online report that contains a summary of all information entered and a ranking of the most common control techniques used in Australia. The report is then submitted to and assessed by the relevant State Government authority responsible for the management of freshwater pest fish incursions. Managers are then able to consider their options, taking into consideration current permits, resources and capability. The DST is anticipated to maximize the speed and quality of freshwater pest fish incursion reporting and to help the responsible government agency decide on the most appropriate management action. The DST will also provide government agency staff access to other relevant information and facilitate consistency in the decision-making approach by government agencies throughout Australia.