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Dredging pressures on finfish


Effects of dredging-related pressures on critical ecological processes for finfish

Other Details: 

Dredging Science Program: Theme 8
Location: Pilbara and Kimberley
Project Leader: Euan Harvey, Curtin
Telephone: +61 8 9266 9674


Effects of dredging on finfish_a review_WAMSI DSN Projects 8.1 & 8.2_Harvey et al 2017

SUMMARY: Finfish are ecologically and culturally significant components of marine ecosystems. Dredging programs through increased total suspended sediments, alterations to benthic habitats and noise may have short and long term impacts on finfish assemblages. Environmental windows are important periods in the life history of a marine species, such as those associated with reproduction and recruitment where the impact of dredging may be significantly greater. Theme 8 will be conducted in 2 phases and this Science Project Plan is only for Phase 1. A review of the literature will be undertaken to identify current knowledge and gaps. Subsequently, a workshop will held to review and identify the critical ecological windows for finfish communities that could be affected by dredging programs focusing on likely cause and effect pathways and the significance of those processes at local and regional scales. A research plan will be developed at the workshop aimed at developing monitoring and evaluation protocols to minimize disruption to both the critical ecological process and dredging programs. This research plan will be submitted to the DSAC and WAMSI as an Science Concept Plan (SCP) and then subsequently as a Science Project Plan (SPP) to commence Phase 2 and access the remaining funds of the Theme.


Harvey E et al. Effects of dredging related pressures on critical ecological processes for finfish - Synthesis of knowledge and considerations for management. 2017 WAMSI Research Conference (audioPresentation slides


Wenger A, Rawson C, Wilson S, Newman S, Travers M, Atkinson S, Browne N, Clarke D, Depczynski M, Erftemeijer P, Evans R, Hobbs JP, McIlwain J, McLean D, Saunders B, Harvey E (2018) Management strategies to minimize the dredging impacts of coastal development on fish and fisheries. Conservation Letters

Wenger A, Harvey E, Wilson S, Rawson C, Newman SJ, Clarke D, Saunders BJ, Browne N, Travers MJ, Mcilwain JL, Erftemeijer PLA, Hobb JPA, Mclean D, Depczynski M, Evans RD (2017) A critical analysis of the direct effects of dredging on fish. Fish Fish. 2017;00:1–19.