Category Archives: Ecology

The devil in the deep: expanding the known habitat of a rare and protected fish

Figure 1_blue_devil_photo Fetterplaceetal

The eastern blue devil (Paraplesiops bleekeri). Just one of the fantastic photos in the paper by co-author John Turnbull: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In our recently published paper, we suggest that the depth range of many reef fish, including the rare and protected eastern blue devil fish, is being systematically underestimated due to sampling bias. We used  remotely deployed video samples and recreational fisher observations, to provide examples of fishes living at depths much deeper than the depth range they are ascribed based on the scientific literature.  Continue reading

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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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Australasian Fishes: We Want Your Fish (Sightings)!

original John Sear 4

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

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

Shark Search Indo-Pacific: finding sharks and conservation solutions in the Big Ocean

Dr Andrew Chin is based at the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture – James Cook University and is the current president of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society. He is also the Programme Director of Shark Search Indo-Pacific, a project that I personally find incredibly interesting and have been following closely. Andrew stopped by Fish Thinkers to give us the inside scoop on Shark Search Indo-Pacific in the guest post below: Continue reading

How do patterns in coastal seascapes influence temperate reef fish assemblages?

Daniel Swadling is a new PhD student at the University of Wollongong who is embarking on a project to better understand the relationship between temperate fishes and their habitats. He also loves his luderick and drummer fishing using an old school Alvey reel, so he is going to fit in just fine and I sense there will be plenty of fishing adventures in the future. Below is his guest post recapping his honours project and where he is heading with his PhD research.

My name is Daniel, I am a PhD student at the University of Wollongong (UOW) Continue reading

Have your say on the NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment

Are you concerned about the health of New South Wales marine environment?

If you are, it is worth looking at the NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment Draft Report and providing a submission or comment to improve the assessment.

The report will be used to determine the most important threats and risks to the NSW marine environment and your submission could help decide where management actions are directed. Note: submissions are due this Saturday the 30th of April.

The website contains the current threat and risk assessment for a range of human activities on environmental assets (for e.g. fish, beaches, rocky reef etc.). It is interesting to see what the current risk ratings are for certain human activities and how the NSW Marine Estate justify these ratings.

To search for this information the NSW Marine Estate has developed an interactive tool to help you navigate through the draft assessment. Once you have identified a human activity (for e.g. recreational fishing) and its risk on an environmental asset (for e.g. the fish assemblage) there are links to a variety of reports used to justify this ranking plus a link to provide your own feedback.

The interactive tool did take me some time to get the hang of, so below are instructions and screen grabs to help you navigate your way through the site.

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