By Sarah Rennie, News24.com.auAn investigation into Australia’s marine environment by the Agro-Environmental Protection Institute has found there are far fewer fish in the Great Barrier Islands, despite being home to one of the largest and most diverse marine communities in the world.
The study, published in the latest issue of Environmental Pollution, examined data on fish stocks, biomass and fish biomass from all of Australia’s major inland waters, and found there were less than 50 per cent of the fish biomass on the Great Australian Bight.
“The data we gathered shows that there are a relatively small number of fish in these waters, around 10 per cent, but we have found that this is largely due to the abundance of smallmouth bass in those waters,” the study’s lead author Dr Rebecca Hynes said.
“What is striking about this finding is that, despite the availability of fish stocks and biomass on these waters where there is a significant fishing population, we found little or no evidence of any changes in fish abundance or biomass in these areas.”
The study found the Great Bight had the second lowest fish biomass of any of the waters studied, trailing only the Coral Sea in the northern Great Barrier Archipelago.
Dr Hynes, who is based in Townsville, said the study showed there was “no evidence” the Great Oceanic and Indian Oceans were getting enough fish.
“It’s a really interesting finding because we can see fish abundance on these rivers and lakes and it’s not something that would have happened if we were using the same data as in Australia,” Dr Hynes told News24 on Friday.
“In Australia, we see a lot of fish that are not caught because they are either too small to be caught or too big to be eaten.”
So what this study tells us is that there’s no evidence that the Great Oceans are getting enough of these smallmouths and we need to find a way to make the Great British Isles a bit more productive.
“A study conducted by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Research Network (GPGBRN) found that there was a significant decline in the size of fish populations in some areas of the Great Atlantic Garbage patch.
In its latest update, GPGBRn said its findings were the first of its kind to analyse biomass, fish biomass and biomass trends across the entire Great Pacific Ocean.
Dr Dr Hues, who conducted the study with Dr John McInnes, said it was important to look at the fish stocks as a whole.”
You can’t get any sense of the biomass or biomass trends for any particular part of the ocean without looking at the entire ocean,” Dr Dr Hys said.
The report found a significant drop in biomass in the Coral and Coral Sea, with a decline in biomass of 17 per cent in the latter.”
We found that the Coral sea was actually producing more biomass than it was taking in,” Dr McInns said.
Dr McInnis said the Great Southern Garbage patches of the South Atlantic and the North Pacific contained a large number of small fish, and the study found that these areas were experiencing an increase in fish biomass.”
As we go further north, we can get more and more fish, which is what we have been seeing in the Southern Pacific Garages,” Dr Dyer said.
Topics:science-and-technology,environment,environmental-policy,environment-management,agriculture,environmenting-and-“activities”,environmental,welfare-and—farming,environmentaustraliaFirst posted September 29, 2018 14:57:00Contact us