Building a fish friendly NSW –
the NSW Fish Habitat Strategy 2026

The NSW Fish Habitat Partnership has developed a Strategy on how to build a fish friendly NSW.

Over the last 200 years we have lost extensive amounts of fish habitat in NSW which has had a very significant impact on the number of fish, the resilience of fish communities and the sustainability of oyster production. Across NSW there are thousands of barriers to fish passage, poor water quality in most inland rivers and many estuaries, and the loss of riverbank vegetation and coastal fish habitats has been significant.

      • Over 270 weirs, over 3000 road crossings just in coastal NSW and over 1000 floodgates that are barriers to fish passage.
      • Over 50% of rivers within the Murray-Darling Basin have had their fish habitat significantly modified or removed.
      • Pollution of the marine estate, from littering, spills and land-based runoff, is perceived as the major threat.
      • Losses of up to 60% of saltmarsh and seagrass have occurred since the 1970s across NSW.
      • Significant degradation of coastal habitats due to flood mitigation and drainage practices has occurred.

In response to these ongoing challenges, the NSW Fish Habitat Partnership was formed in 2014 to implement a shared vision for the future that involves “working together for fish habitat”. The NSW Fish Habitat Partnership (FHP) is an alliance of eleven stakeholder groups, representing over 1 million people that together contribute over $29.3 billion to the NSW state economy. The FHP is independent and not subject to Government direction or control nor that of any one of its constituent members. We seek to promote, protect, enhance and deliver improvements to fish habitat that achieve improved sustainable economic growth and environmental and social benefits for NSW. We may be from a diverse range of backgrounds, but we are united by our common interest in looking after and improving the ecosystems that support the fish.