Monthly Fishbits- Feb 2016

Larval Billfish. Cedric Guigand, Univ. of Miami, RSMAS/Marine Photobank.

Larval Billfish. Cedric Guigand, Univ. of Miami, RSMAS/Marine Photobank. (Edit: its really a squirrelfish larva, Family: Holocentridae- Thanks Paris Lab).


Fish Thinkers monthly round up and interesting bits and pieces from the aquatic world


Fish that swim together navigate better! A nice collaboration between Australian Museum, Uni of Tasmania and Paris Lab (USA) members, finds that fish larvae are better off in groups. #openaccess

An interesting new paper on Preferred conservation policies of shark researchers just came out“Shark researchers support a wide range of policies, but generally believe that sustainable fisheries exploitation of sharks is possible, is happening in a few (but not very many) places currently, and should be the goal of future conservation policymaking instead of trying to ban fishing if and when possible,” said David Shiffman, UM Ph.D. candidate and lead author of the study #bewarepaywall

Frontiers for Young Minds is scientific journal written by scientists and reviewed by kids. The articles are free open access  and aimed at younger audiences. They do just as good a job of explaining the topics to adults that are outside the field; particularly those who aren’t likely to be interested in the usual functional (but dry) servings in standard  journals (Edit: Which to be honest is most of us. Unless it is something related to my field  I for one generally don’t like reading through technical papers). #openaccessforthewin


The Hawksbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment discussion paper has now been released. If you live between Newcastle and Wollongong this may be of interest to you as the report proposes a number of management initiative aimed at enhancing our marine environment. You can have your say by providing feedback here. Submissions close 24th April.

Last week I was in Gippsland, Victoria visiting family. Based in a country town they absolutely love their hunting and fishing. We got chatting about sustainability and my Uncle recommended checking out Flick and Fly Journal. We’ve been fans of FFJ for a while now and it’s great that the older (and less tech savy ha) peeps are eagerly following their work. A great post my Uncle and I were discussing was this one on shifting baselines in our fisheries.

In beach clean-up related news, Sunday the 6th is clean up Australia Day. If you’re keen to lend a hand you can find clean-ups in your local area here. I’ve just found out there will be a triathlon through our clean-up site so we will be joining surfrider in Bellambi for their event. Also another event to keep an eye out in the Illawarra is Wollongong’s first ever Seaside Scavenge – where you exchange rubbish for pre-love clothes!


If you’re into podcasts, have a listen to a recent episode of This American Life, ‘That’s One Way to Do It’. The first story is about Terry Grosz, and his time as a fish and game warden in California. The lengths he and others go to in order to protect fish in this area is impressive, and hilarious! Terry Grosz has also written a book about his experiences, titled ‘Wildlife Wars’.

A piece in Cosmos Magazine, ‘A case for teaching better science’ tackles the issue of getting teenagers interested in science to ensure that they can navigate the future of complex scientific problems. At Cosmos they have initiated a program called Cosmos Lessons,  which is taught in high school classrooms. They are intended to be highly interactive and relevant science classes for teenagers and it seems like a pretty cool idea.

On this topic, If you keep an eye out over the next few months we will have posts about some recent work Fish Thinkers has done to make ecology interesting for kids, and maybe a little input from the mini-ecologists themselves.

This month Fish Thinkers attended the launch of Boomerang Bags in the Illawarra, and helped organise a beach clean up before hand. It was a good turn out with around 20 people showing up to clean south beach and the harbour in Wollongong. There are plenty of clean ups coming up over the next month – check the Beach Clean Ups Illawarra page for event info.

We will also be doing some collaboration clean ups with the new Surfrider Foundation UOW Society in the near future, so keep an out eye for that.

Part of our haul after 45 minutes (just from three of us).

Part of our haul after 45 minutes (just from three of us).


Lauren might be 34 weeks pregnant but that didn’t deter her from heading into the dunes.


A boomerang bag- no need for single use plastic!

Fishbits will be back in March with more info and updates to feast on!

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