Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Narrandera Fisheries Centre has well and truly cemented its reputation as the nation’s leading facility of its kind, following a successful open day held over the weekend.
More than 1,200 visitors filed through the centre gates on Saturday to see for themselves the conservation and research work being undertaken at the centre.
“The fisheries centre open day was absolutely fantastic, and it was wonderful to see so many people come along and experience firsthand the amazing work that’s going on right here in our own backyard,” Ms Cooke said.
“I have been a huge supporter of the centre and its talented and dedicated team for many years; I’m proud to say I’ve helped secure vital funding for the centre, including $6 million for recent upgrades, which have included a new hatchery building fitted with state-of-the-art fish breeding technology.
“I was very pleased to see the recent NSW State Labor Budget retained the $646,000 set aside by the previous NSW Coalition Government, to complete the upgrade works,” she said.
Ms Cooke said the Narrandera Fisheries Centre has been at the forefront of its field since it first opened in 1962, and plays a key role in breeding and conservation, as well as research into native and introduced species.
“Fish play such a key role in indicating the health of our river systems so it’s vital that we learn as much as we can about their numbers and locations,” Ms Cooke said.
“The researchers here do some wonderful work which gives a clear indication of fish health in NSW, as well as collating information about introduced species and their effects on feeding and native fish health.
“Some of their work also revolves around fish which are locally extinct and on the verge of extinction – in the Murray-Darling Basin for example – so it’s easy to see how critical their research is,” she said.