OzFish Unlimited is partnering with RMIT, a leading Australian tertiary institution and global university of technology and design, on their Pesticides Detectives program. This is a national Citizen Science research project investigating the occurrences and concentration of pesticides in Australian waterways.

It is funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Business and undertaken by the Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group (AQUEST) based at RMIT University. The goal of the project is to provide communities across Australia an opportunity for involvement in a simple, yet meaningful monitoring program where they can learn about the health of their local waterways and have an awareness of the pressures placed on them, while also providing valuable data on the quality of Australia’s waterways in respect to pesticides.

Of primary concern is the ever-increasing use of chemicals in our everyday life, and the risks they pose to the health and beneficial uses of waterways. Pesticides are one group of contaminants increasingly being detected in waterways across Australia and worldwide. They are chemical compounds that are used to control, prevent, kill, suppress, or repel pests. “Pesticide” is a broad term that includes insecticides (insect killers), herbicides (weed or plant killers), fungicides (fungus killers), rodenticides (rodent killers), growth regulators, and other materials like miticides, which are used for mite control, or products that kill snails and slugs (molluscicides).

There are thousands of different pesticides in use today in and around houses, shops, offices, storerooms, sheds, gardens, farms, pastoral stations, and many other places. The project will advance our knowledge base on the state of Australian aquatic environments, providing data to inform on priority pesticides of concern at local, regional and national levels. Our local Ozfish Pumicestone Passage Chapter is assisting in the program in conjunction with their reef-building and improving the oyster presence in our passage.

For more on this or any other Ozfish activities, e-mail ozfishpumicestone@gmail.com.

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