Fish Patterns in the Seasonal Seascape

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Freezing waters surrounded by picturesque scenery on a cold (-15°c) winters day in the Gullmarn Fjord, western Sweden. If you look closely in the water, a curious common seal keeps watch.

Tom Staveley is a Marine spatial ecology & PhD candidate at DEEP Stockholm University and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his thesis. Both of us are living the invandrare life in Sweden at the moment so I got a chance to catch up with him recently and managed to drag him away from the thesis for long enough to give us a run down (below) on some of the research he has been working on.

Fish Patterns in the Seasonal Seascape

Being a marine ecologist in Scandinavia certainly has its advantages: long summer days to do seemingly endless fieldwork, stunning surroundings and surprisingly lush underwater habitats (yes, I’m talking mainly about seagrass but we’ll get to that later). Even in the heart of winter a sublimely frozen wonderland of crisp air, still bays and snow-covered land- and seascapes never ceases to amaze. For the past few years, I have been exploring the coastal waters of western Sweden in the Skagerrak/North Sea focusing my research on seascape ecology – a relatively new branch of marine science focusing on broad-scale patterns and processes in the seas and oceans.
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Using seafloor mapping to help assess marine protected areas

One part of my PhD research was working with NSW DPI and UOW to assess the performance of marine protected areas (MPAs). We recently had an article published in Biological Conservation where we used seafloor mapping to improve the assessment of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park (free download here till July 20th). Here’s a quick rundown on what we found…

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Tagging tigers to explore the Green Seas

As expected, the highly anticipated Blue Planet II series has been nothing short of amazing. This week we are incredibly lucky to have a guest post by shark researcher; Samantha Andrzejaczek who helped film the upcoming Blue Planet episode. Sammy is a PhD candidate at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and University of Western Australia investigating the vertical movement of sharks. She also runs a fantastic blog – www.sammyshark.wordpress.com, which we definitely recommend checking out. Read on to go behind the scenes of Blue Planet II. You can watch the episode this Saturday night (17th) on Channel 9 in Australia. Continue reading

Fish Thinkers online: 2017 in review

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Fish Thinkers six most popular Instagram posts of 2017

At the end of each year I like to put up some customary navel gazing i.e. a review of the Fish Thinkers year. It is a summary mainly as a record for myself as I find it useful to look at our blog and social media stats and see what people are particularly interested in.  Although there is also the odd chance someone else is vaguely interested—since people have brought up parts of the review before, I guess a few people are anyway. Here is the 2017 review: Continue reading

Australasian Fishes: We Want Your Fish (Sightings)!

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Fish Thinkers has just become an official project supporter of Australasian fishes, which as someone that has a slight obsession with fish, I am rather happy about.  Set up by the Australian Museum in 2016, it is a really nice example of a citizen science project that is open to all and it is getting lots of interesting results. Continue reading

Sustainable shopping: how to buy tuna without biting a chunk out of the oceans

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Canned tuna is an Australian pantry staple.
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by Candice Visser and Quentin Hanich, University of Wollongong

Shopping can be confusing at the best of times, and trying to find environmentally friendly options makes it even more difficult. Welcome to our Sustainable Shopping series, in which we ask experts to provide easy eco-friendly guides to purchases big and small. Continue reading

Pregnant Sharks and Rays Abort Offspring When Fished

Pregnant Sharks and Rays Abort Offspring When Fished – Guest post by Kye Adams

Have you ever seen a viral video of a shark or ray giving birth (e.g. River Monsters)? Unfortunately, it turns out these videos have a pretty dark explanation: There’s a fairly high chance the female is actually aborting her pups due to the stress of being caught. Continue reading