Monthly Fishbits


Want a heads up when we find really cool research and articles about all things fishy? Then you’re in the right place! We’re going to start a monthly roundup of interesting bits and pieces related to  marine research and sustainable fishing but also other things we find that have caught our interest that month. So if you need some inspiration, or bedtime reading, we’ll have you covered.



I’m an ecology and science studies graduate and a new Fish Thinkers contributor for 2016! This year I’m undertaking an honours research program to investigate science communication in relation to sharks on the East coast of Australia. On here I’ll be organising the fishbits posts and contributing to the blog here and there in some other ways. 

On the fish thinkers blog – keep an eye out for the new Fishing Journal. Matt’s first post illustrates a day fishing for Australian Bass on the Illawarra Escarpment.

Recently a large number of sperm whales have beached and died in the North Sea, a place where they aren’t normally found. There is a whole lot of conjecture on why they are stranding but no concrete answers so far. Check out this article about why whales become stranded and how we deal with it.

If you’re interested in science communication, check out “The Best Australian Science Writing 2015“, edited by Bianca Nogrady. This is the latest volume in the annual series of books which started in 2011. It’s a great compilation of talented science writers, and an example of how science writing can be done really well. It covers a variety of topics but quite a few are ecology and aquatic based.



For me the most exciting news in the last month has been the discovery of 20 new species of freshwater fishes in NW Australia by researchers from the University of Melbourne. This has increased the ‘known’ number of Aussie freshwater native fish by an astounding 10%! It makes you wonder how many more species unknown to science are in these remote parts of Australia.

On a different note, if you’re in Melbourne go check out the opening launch of Jess Leitmanis’ art exhibition. I met Jess on a beach clean up trip to Cape York as a member of Clean Coast Collective’s trash tribe. Using the rope she finds at remote area clean ups (Cape York and SW Tassie) Jess turns what most people view as rubbish into incredible woven sculptures. Take a look at her work here and the follow this link for details on the event.



Tagged white sharks are now live tweeting their positions off the east coast of Australia. Down the track I’ll have more on whether I think this is a good idea or not.

Do fish feel pain? There is a whole lot of new articles debating the topic here, in Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling. It’s all Open Access so anyone can download the articles which is a big plus.

Dugongs have been in the news around these parts lately with one turning up 1400 km south of the nearest known population on the east coast of Australia. It has been relocated back to Queensland, I not so secretly want them to release it in Jervis Bay. More on whether that is feasible and whether it is actually that unusual to see them on the south coast in an upcoming blog.

Book tips:

An old one but a good one is  The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. It is on super special atm…$5 is a bargain! It really gives you a good understanding of our impact on the sea with a lot of eye opening historical examples.

Following the last of the wild wolves, Ian Mcallister documents the behaviour of two packs of wolves in the great bear rainforest of British Columbia as they fish for salmon, hunt seals and even swim between the various Islands in their territory. Well worth a read.


That is all for January! Stay tuned for another round up in a month 🙂 and don’t hesitate to suggest your own highlights!

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