Biodiversity conservation in Sydney Harbour

Joanne L. Banks*, Pat Hutchings, Belinda Curley, Luke Hedge, Bob Creese, Emma Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Biodiversity conservation is a major issue in ports and harbours as scientists, managers and the public become increasingly aware of the importance of healthy ecosystems to the wellbeing of urban populations. Sydney's Harbour provides essential environmental, social and economic values to community, government and industry. Recent systematic reviews of the biological and physical characteristics of Sydney Harbour revealed high environmental and conservation value, especially considering the large numbers of people using its resources. However, like many coastal areas, the harbour has been subject to stressors such as habitat loss, metal, organic and nutrient pollution, the introduction of non-indigenous species, foreshore construction and commercial and recreational fishing. Here we outline the environmental assets of the harbour and the major threats, and report on current and developing conservation strategies. By learning about the progress of environmental management in Sydney Harbour, the difficulties faced and new planning strategies implemented, coastal and harbour environmental managers within the region can be better prepared when faced with similar challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalPacific Conservation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • environmental protection
  • habitat loss
  • harbour environments
  • overarching strategy

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