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Southern Pygmy Perch Breeding Project

A Big Project to Save a Tiny Fish!

A Big Project to Save a Tiny Fish!

A recovery project to help save a small but mighty endangered species

Following a dramatic decline in numbers over the past two decades, the Southern Pygmy Perch – a small species of native, freshwater fish are now listed as Endangered in NSW. The small but mighty, Southern Pygmy Perch plays an important part in the eco-system of freshwater streams and wetlands in South Eastern Australia, and to help drive the recovery of this species, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is proud to launch a recovery program in collaboration with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries.

The program aims to establish breeding populations of Southern Pygmy Perch at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, then raise and release the fish into refuges, creating new populations and boosting the number and genetic diversity of existing populations of this species.

Watch the videos below to learn more about the project and the Southern Pygmy Perch's journey. 

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Spp Photo2 By Luke Pearce

The Project Begins

Laura Simmons, Regional Curator SEA LIFE ANZ said “To establish the program, our team along with Fisheries conservation experts were able to collect the wild Southern Pygmy Perch from at-risk sites in southern NSW and rehome them at the aquarium. We are so excited to present these tiny but mighty fish to our guests and tell their story.

“We’ve also developed dedicated breeding facilities, and in the coming months, we hope to be raising, and planning to release, Southern Pygmy Perch babies back into protected wild locations, where their progress and movements will be monitored."

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