Submission from John Hargreaves
I wish to express my support for continuing protection measures for the blue groper Achoerodus viridis.
I'm sure that you are familiar with the reasons the groper should continue to be protected, but just in case, here is my summary:
- it is listed as vulnerable to near threatened on the IUCN Red List
- as a high-order reef predator, it could help mitigate the impacts of climate change by predating on invasive species
- the species is particularly vulnerable to fishing as it is long lived, late to mature and breed, slow moving and sedentary
- it is a particularly attractive species to divers and snorkellers, with positive implications for marine and eco-tourism.
Marine biologists are in the process of gathering data about this species, but our knowledge is currently sketchy and incomplete. Further protection would allow time for studies to be completed and informed decisions to be made about managing this species.
Hopefully, Fisheries Victoria and the Victorian Government will continue to demonstrate leadership in protecting our wildlife heritage and consider implementing permanent protection for the blue groper Achoerodus viridis.