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
Voting is currently open in the Australian Society for Fish Biology Student Competition in Science Communication awards 2018 (five days left to vote!). This year there is $3000 in prize money up for grabs. Entry is via a short video showcasing the postgrads research and the public vote on senior (PhD candidates) and junior (Masters and Honours candidates) category entries. This year there is also an additional category that will run at the ASFB conference and will include 50% delegate votes and 50% judging panel votes in deciding the winner.
I have been involved in organising the competition the last few years (and as an entrant in the first year) and I have to say that the quality of the videos on offer this year is exceptionally high across the board. They are well worth taking some time to check out.
You can find all the entries and vote in both categories here. And I encourage you to also think about leaving a comment or two on the videos you enjoy – they take a lot of work to put together and getting feedback always helps make it worth it.
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…
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
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
Wollongong University interviewed Matt and I recently and also used some of our underwater footage, if you are interested you can find the video and write up Here
A quick post to give a bit of background on the PhD research I am carrying out at present, as always, questions, advice and constructive criticism is welcome.
The vast unknown: assessing the conservation of soft sediment fish diversity
Sand. That grainy stuff that covers vast swathes of the ocean floor. Although perhaps to the casual observer this habitat isn’t as exciting as coral reefs or seagrass meadows, delve a little deeper and you will discover that there is a whole lot happening out in the vast sandy stretches of the ocean. Sand or soft sediments cover most of Australia’s state and national waters and are heavily exploited by commercial and recreational fishing.
Surprisingly, there has been little research into fish ecology on these habitats, with most effort expended on assessing fish found on coral reefs, rocky reefs, estuaries and seagrass. For a habitat that is so heavily exploited, there is a serious and immediate need to determine the basic ecology of the fish species present, the effects of fishing and also to examine the success of conservation efforts in place. More than 70% of Australia’s marine protected areas cover soft sediments, yet to my knowledge, both nationally and internationally there have been no studies looking at the effectiveness of marine protected areas in conserving soft sediment fish.
My PhD aims to examine Continue reading