Funding boost for Mary River cod research

Dr Mark Kennard, from Griffith University's Australian Rivers Institute
Associate Professor Mark Kennard, from Griffith University's Australian Rivers Institute

The Queensland Government has provided $5000 to Griffith University as part of a new program to help protect and recover threatened species.

The funding will assist Griffith researchers in their work to determine the breeding requirements and survival of the Mary River cod.

Member for Mansfield, The Honourable Ian Walker MP, said the grant was made under the new Research Partnerships Program.

“This initiative sees government partner with universities and other research institutions to expand threatened species conservation work,” said Mr Walker.

“This is about working alongside the brightest minds to achieve the best possible outcomes. By drawing these efforts together we can deliver research outcomes that benefit a larger range of threatened species.”

Dr Mark Kennard, from Griffith’s Australian Rivers Institute, said the grant would greatly assist the university’s important work on the Mary River.

“Mary River cod populations are thought to be under threat because of limited breeding,” said Dr Kennard.

“This study will fill critical knowledge gaps about the factors that influence the successful breeding and survival of Mary River cod throughout southeast Queensland. It will also use genetic techniques to determine the number of breeding fish contributing to cod populations across a range of sites and times.

“Among other things, the results will assist population recovery by identifying sites where the fish breed most prolifically and by quantifying the habitat and flow conditions that sustain healthy cod populations.”

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, The Honourable Andrew Powell MP, said Queensland was one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, with state and federal legislation listing more than 1500 species of plants and animals as threatened.

“Fortunately, we have a range of stakeholders including government, research institutions, traditional owners and community groups working for our threatened species,” said Mr Powell.

“Essential to these recovery efforts is sound, scientifically based environmental research and policy development based on the best science. This is where the Research Partnerships Program will deliver many benefits.”

The initial round of grants sees $60,000 supporting projects at Griffith University, University of Queensland, the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University.

“By formalising partnerships with others that seek the same outcomes, and by providing funding to assist their research, we can ensure our efforts are focused, aligned and deliver the best possible results,” said Mr Powell.