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EARTH SCIENCE | BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION | ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES | FISH

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From 1 - 10 / 20
  • Policy and decision makers often seek guidance as to the benefits of conservation and repair of coastal seascapes, to justify and underpin any potential investments. Much is already known about the broad habitat and nursery values of seascapes among the science community, but there is also a need for estimation of clear and unambiguous market-based benefits that may arise from investment in repair. Recognising that this economic knowledge is imperfect for Australian seascapes, three case studies spanning tropical, subtropical and temperate environments explored the benefits in question. The case studies focus on saltmarsh habitats in particular, which have received very little investment in repair despite subtropical and temperate coastal saltmarsh listed as vulnerable ecological community under Australian Federal legislation. A subset of economically important species and conservative judgments were used to characterise the minimum potential economic benefit. For each of the case studies the conclusion was that while the biological information will remain imperfect, the business case for investment in the repair and conservation of coastal seascapes is compelling. We outline priorities for further research to make the business case more tangible to policy makers, stakeholders and the general public.

  • Fish annotations of stereo Baited Remote Underwater Video and panoramic drop camera imagery, were completed as part of a report funded by the NESP Marine & Coastal Hub. This report focussed on an IUCN II zone in the South-west Corner Marine Park off the 'Capes region' near Margaret River. These data were analysed in EventMeasure using standard operating procedures for the annotation of remote stereo imagery.

  • Adult and sub-adult Red handfish (Thymichthys politus) and Spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) preserved specimens and underwater images were used for analysing morphometrics (comprising of specimens from the CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection and underwater images). Individuals were measured for the morphological traits using electronic callipers (±0.1 mm) for preserved specimens and using Image J software for digital records. Note digital image size calibration occurred using a ruler in images or from size taken in situ. The purpose was to investigate whether external morphometrics could be used to determine sex in handfishes.

  • The data describes number of vessels, engine power, gross tonnage and fishing effort by year (1950-2017), targeted functional group, and fishing gear. Fishing effort estimates were derived from country-level fishing fleet capacity data publicly available, following the method described in Rousseau et al (2019; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820344116) and methods improvement reported in Rousseau et al. (in prep). The data coverage is global, but estimates are given at the Exclusive Economic Zone-, Large Marine Ecosystem-, and Food Agriculture Organisation-level. The data was collected for a wide range of uses, including to inform global and regional marine ecosystem models and to understand the long-term evolution of fishing and its socio-ecological implications in the global ocean.

  • Interaction uncertainties between tidal energy devices and marine animals have the potential to disrupt the tidal energy industry as it advances. Best-practices for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) must be explored that are able to provide conclusive recommendations for mitigating environmental impact concerns of tidal energy developments. As the tidal energy industry is moving closer to commercial-scale array installations, the development of standardised EIAs would allow for potential impact concerns for the marine environment to be identified and minimised early in the site-development process. In an effort to help formulate a standardised EIA framework that addresses knowledge gaps in fish-current interactions at tidal energy candidate sites, this study investigated changes in fish aggregations in response to tidal currents at a tidal energy candidate site in Australia prior to turbine installation. Here, we present the dataset collected for this study that includes tidal current information from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements, volume backscattering strength from a four-frequency biological echosounder (Acoustic Zooplankton and Fish Profiler – AZFP) as an indicator for fish biomass, and fish aggregation metrics calculated from volume backscatter in post-processing. ADCP and AZFP were installed on a bottom-mounted mooring and engaged in a concurrent sampling plan for ~2.5 months from December 2018 to February 2019. The mooring was deployed in the Banks Strait, a tidal energy candidate site located in the northeast of Tasmania, Australia, at a location favourable for tidal turbine installations considering current speed, depth, substrate, sediment type and proximity to shore. The ADCP dataset includes current velocity and direction measurements at a 1 m vertical and 1-sec time intervals. The raw AZFP dataset includes volume backscattering strength collected at 4-sec time intervals with a vertical resolution of 0.072 m in raw, and 0.1 m in pre-processed form. Fish aggregation metrics were derived in post-processing and are presented by the minute along with corresponding environmental conditions for current speed, shear, temperature, diel stage, and tidal stage compiled from both AZFP and ADCP datasets.

  • Baited remote underwater stereo-video (stereo-BRUV) were used to sample the fish assemblages of the Hunter Marine Park and adjacent Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park at equivalent depths. Stereo-BRUV were deployed in both autumn and spring from spring 2016 to autumn 2018 and at depth of 32-105m. The videos were analyse to all fish species to the lowest taxonmic level and estimate relative abundance (MaxN) and lengths of all species. This information was used to form a baseline of the benthic fish assemblages of the Hunter Marine Park. This study was done as part of the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub D3 project (https://www.nespmarine.edu.au/project/project-d3-implementing-monitoring-amps-and-status-marine-biodiversity-assets-continental).

  • This database contains acoustic telemetry data for euryhaline elasmobranchs in northern Australian rivers. Data was collected under the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Marine Biodiversity Hub Project 2.4 'Supporting Management of Listed and Rare Species', and the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A1 'Northern Australian Hotspots for the Recovery of Threatened Euryhaline Elasmobranchs'. An acoustic receiver array was deployed in the Adelaide River, and another in the Alligator Rivers (primarily the South Alligator River) to monitor the movements, habitat use and natural mortality of threatened river sharks (Glyphis species) and sawfishes (Pristis species). Receiver deployment data is available through the IMOS Animal Tracking Facility database (visit https://animaltracking.aodn.org.au/receivers/deployment and search for project 'NESP Northern Australian hotspots for the recovery of threatened euryhaline species'). Detection data is currently embargoed until end 2023.

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    Opportunistic visual surveys were conducted in transit to, and within, the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) in the Timor Sea during September and October 2012 onboard the RV Solander. This resource comprises species lists and estimated counts of marine mammals, sea snakes, seabirds, sea turtles and other large wildlife encountered during the voyage. The Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve survey was undertaken as an activity within the Australian Government's National Environmental Research Program Marine Biodiversity Hub and was the key component of Research Theme 4 - Regional Biodiversity Discovery to Support Marine Bioregional Plans. Hub partners involved in the survey included the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Geoscience Australia, the University of Western Australia, Museum Victoria and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Data acquired during the survey included: multibeam sonar bathymetry and acoustic backscatter; sub-bottom acoustic profiles; physical samples of seabed sediments, infauna and epibenthic biota; towed underwater video and still camera observations of seabed habitats; baited video observations of demersal and pelagic fish, and; oceanographic measurements of the water column from CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) casts and from deployment of sea surface drifters. Further information on the survey is available in the post-survey report published as Geoscience Australia Record 2013/38: Nichol, S.L., Howard, F.J.F., Kool, J., Stowar, M., Bouchet, P., Radke, L.,Siwabessy, J., Przeslawski, R., Picard, K., Alvarez de Glasby, B., Colquhoun, J., Letessier, T. & Heyward, A. 2013. Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (Timor Sea) Biodiversity Survey: GA0339/SOL5650 - Post Survey Report. Record 2013/38. Geoscience Australia: Canberra. (GEOCAT #76658).

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    This dataset describes the relative abundance of an assemblage of commercially exploited pelagic fishes around Western Australia, mapped over a 30 arc-minute (0.5 degree) spatial grid. The data cover the period 1997-2006 and are derived from an analysis of commercial landings available through the Sea Around Us Project (http://www.seaaroundus.org/). Further details can be found in the following peer-reviewed publication: Bouchet PJ, Meeuwig JJ, Huang Z, Letessier TBL, Nichol SL, Caley MJ, Watson RA. 2017. Continental-scale hotspots of pelagic fish abundance inferred from commercial catch records. Global Ecology and Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12619 Below is a full list of species considered, with their respective contributions to the total catch (%): -------------------------------------------------- Greenback horse mackerel / Trachurus declivis -- 10.92 % Greater amberjack / Seriola dumerili -- 0.05 % Samson fish / Seriola hippos -- 0.01 % Silver gemfish / Rexea solandri -- 2.80 % Snoek / Thyrsites atun -- 1.22 % Indo-Pacific blue marlin / Makaira mazara -- 2.87 % Striped marlin / Tetrapturus audax -- 0.26 % Black marlin / Makaira indica -- 0.17 % Indo-Pacific sailfish / Istiophorus platypterus -- 0.06 % Shortbill spearfish / Tetrapturus angustirostris -- 0.00 % Bluefish / Pomatomus saltatrix -- 0.13 % Southern bluefin tuna / Thunnus maccoyii -- 19.17 % Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel / Scomberomorus commerson -- 16.93 % Skipjack tuna / Katsuwonus pelamis -- 9.82 % Yellowfin tuna / Thunnus albacares -- 9.40 % Bigeye tuna / Thunnus obesus -- 7.67 % Albacore tuna / Thunnus alalunga -- 4.16 % Longtail tuna / Thunnus tonggol -- 0.78 % Kawakawa (mackerel tuna) / Euthynnus affinis -- 0.56 % Wahoo / Acanthocybium solandri -- 0.01 % Great barracuda / Sphyraena barracuda -- 0.25 % Tope shark / Galeorhinus galeus -- 6.66 % Swordfish / Xiphias gladius -- 6.09 %

  • Ecosystem data was collected as part of an integrated study of the continental shelf over a 2 and a half year period between November 2015 and January 2018. Data were collected bi-monthly through the spring to autumn (November, January, March, May). Stations were situated perpendicular to shelf bathymetry, ranging in depth from ~50 m to 100 m near the edge of the shelf and were located between 5 km and 15 km from land; encompassing from south Storm Bay, past the southern tip of Bruny Island and into the Southern Ocean (south-east Tasmania, Australia). Data collected focused on each trophic level, characterizing the zooplankton community, fish schools and marine predators. The overarching aim of the study was to investigate the effects of long term warming, and a marine heatwave event on zooplankton dynamics in terms of community response variables and the flow-on effects of changing lower-trophic level dynamics for top predators.