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Advancements in our understanding of the impacts of pesticides on aquatic species mean that scores for contaminants are expected to worsen in our freshwater basins and estuaries.

Improvements in our understanding of the impacts that different pesticides have in our aquatic systems means that for the first time the 2016 Mackay-Whitsunday report card will include an additional eight pesticides in our freshwater and estuary contaminants reporting. However, by including additional pesticides in our reporting, the scores for contaminants in the report card are likely to worsen.

The Mackay Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership is committed to continual improvement of the report card as new information becomes available. Previously, reporting for contaminants has been based on the five pesticides that are considered to be the key drivers of toxicity in the Great Barrier Reef catchments. However, the number of pesticides that are detected in the catchments is far greater. As information on the impacts these pesticides have on species in our waterways is consolidated, it is critical to expand reporting so that they are included.
It is expected that over the next two report cards, reporting on contaminants in our freshwater basins and estuaries will expand to include the full suite of 28 pesticides detected in the catchments.

Emma Carlos
Technical Officer, Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership

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