Monthly Fishbits- October 2016




This month you can read about the ways marine life might be resilient to climate change, shark school for kids, nightmare fish and whales whales everywhere!


Fish fighting climate change! This study in Nature has found that spiny damsel fish might have some resilience to ocean acidification. Certain individuals have genetic mutations allowing them to manipulate their circadian rhythms. Good news that some fish at least might have ways of dealing with us messing up their ecosystems! There’s a good summary of the findings here too.

Acanthochromis polyacanthus. Author: Nikita

Acanthochromis polyacanthus. Author: Nikita

On a less optimistic note, a young humpback whale was caught in a shark net off the Central Coast this week, and although it was released unharmed it doesn’t bode well considering the trial of shark nets beingĀ implemented in that area. Unfortunately the ways we are dealing with our anxieties about sharks seem to be bad news for the rest of the marine population.

Fish Thinkers Kids update: The kids have been looking after and learning about the fish in their fish tank all year. They’ve also been using it as inspiration for their various creative pursuits and most recently they have written some (ridiculously good) poems! There’ll be a post soon including some work that they’ve done as well as photo updates on how the tank is going.

Also for all of November I’m an intern at Cosmos Magazine in Melbourne, learning the ropes of Science Journalism. This is my first article. I’ll try to write (and share) some interesting ecology stories and if anyone has ideas for stories they’d like to see written let me know!


Matt and I have been running workshops this week at Taronga Zoo’s #sharkproject in Jervis Bay Marine Park (South East Coast of Australia) and it was pretty darn fun. The weather was awesome which was a big plus and the kids seemed to love it which was the most important thing. Dealing with hundreds of kids for a few days really makes me appreciate even more the great job lots of teachers are doing. There was a pretty impressive caste of researchers who gave workshops from lots of different places including from Taronga, Fisheries NSW, Macquarie and Wollongong universities, Crest diving, and Shoalhaven Council. We will try and get a roundup blog on the event up asap with some photos and some pretty cool shark footage.


On a very lighthearted note; the short film ‘Piper’ is now Ā online for freeĀ – you would have had to see Finding Dory in the cinema to catch this little 6 minute film elsewhere. The film follows a hungry sandpiper learning to overcome her fear of the sea…check it out/show the kids!

And lastly from me: I give you nightmare fish (following through to the full gallery is highly recommended!)



The past couple of weeks I’ve been finishing up some fieldwork in the Batemans Marine Park. I’ve been lucky enough to witness some insane aerial manoeuvres by humpback whales as they migrate south to Antarctic waters. Check out the pics below. I’ll be back out again this week so hoping to snap some more action!

whale-3Ā whale-4


3 thoughts on “Monthly Fishbits- October 2016

    1. Lachlan Fetterplace

      None of us are from anywhere remotely near Western Australia, nevertheless, despite this shortcoming, all of us know full well that the jumped up pretender to the crown (.i.e. the paradise gourami) doesn’t hold a candle to the majestic Empire Gudgeon. I doubt the poor Gourami would even rank in the top 20 in these modern times!



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