Aug 192014
 

Original story at ABC News

The critically endangered western trout minnow has been bred in captivity for the first time, in a program that is hoped will help shore up the population.

The western trout minnow was the first freshwater fish species in Australia to be listed as critically endangered. Photo: Department of Fisheries WA

The western trout minnow was the first freshwater fish species in Australia to be listed as critically endangered. Photo: Department of Fisheries WA

The western trout minnow is so rare it is only found in three small rivers in WA's Great Southern region.

It was the first freshwater fish species in Australia to be listed as critically endangered.

Researchers from the University of Western Australia and the Department of Fisheries have managed to breed the fish in a laboratory, and hope to restock the rivers in a couple of years.

Principal research scientist Dr Craig Lawrence said there is also a team examining the reasons why the fish are becoming extinct.

"They are specifically looking at the reasons why several rare species in WA have got very low numbers in the wild," he said.

"Once those factors are identified, we will put together a strategy to address them and it's only then that we would look at restocking."

Dr Craig Lawrence has bred the rare minnow in captivity for the first time. Photo: ABC News/Anna Vidot

Dr Craig Lawrence has bred the rare minnow in captivity for the first time. Photo: ABC News/Anna Vidot

In 2006 it was estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 minnows remained in the wild.

Dr Lawrence said researchers had to break new ground in figuring out how to breed the fish.

"We had to work out how to keep them, feed them, breed them, incubate the eggs, raise the embryos, hatch the larva out, and rear them up to fry," he said.

"They need specific cues to breed. They need the right flow rate, the right temperature, the right barometric pressure."

He said weirs and dams on water bodies changed the way the rivers flow, which affected the fish's breeding in the wild.

In one case, researchers built a "fish ladder" to help the animals get around the barriers, and this may need to be installed in other areas too, Dr Lawrence said.

Western trout minnow embryos. Photo: Department of Fisheries WA

Western trout minnow embryos. Photo: Department of Fisheries WA

The fish's size was also a factor in breeding it in captivity, he said.

"When we're talking about these fish, we're scaling everything down to 1:1000 of what we would usually use," he said.

"The accuracy of the injections and anaesthesia we use have to be very rigorous and there's very little room for error.

"No-one else has used these techniques before for a fish of this size."

The research has been carried out over five years, but the fish only breed four weeks out of the year, Dr Lawrence said.

Jul 302014
 

The next ANGFA Queensland meeting is on Friday, August 8 at 7:30.

Facebook event here

David Roberts with a sizable lungfish.

David Roberts with a sizable lungfish.

This meeting we'll have a presentation from David Roberts of Seqwater with an update on the latest lungfish research and management work he's been involved with.

We'll also have a slide show from our secretary who recently had the opportunity to visit Edgbaston Reserve with a crew from Bush Heritage Australia.

Group at Edgbaston Reserve

Group at Edgbaston Reserve

If you’re not a member please feel free to come and have a look, you can join on the night if you're interested. The club shop with dry goods, supplies, new photo tanks and hopefully new nets will be open, as will the drinks stand. There’ll be an auction after the talks where anyone can buy, though you must be a member to register as a seller.

The next ANGFA Qld meeting is at the Bar Jai hall – 178 Alexandra Road, Clayfield. Friday night 9/8/2013 starting at 7:30 pm sharp!

The next ANGFA Qld meeting is at the Bar Jai hall – 178 Alexandra Road, Clayfield. Friday night 8/8/2014 starting at 7:30 pm sharp!

Jul 052014
 
The 2014 QFAS Market day is being held at Springwood Road State School on Saturday,July 26 from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm. Entry is free.Easy access from the Southeast Freeway and plenty of parking right at the door.

FOR SELLERS

If you would like to hire a site to sell product then you need to contact Peter Johnson either by pm or by email (peterrjohnson@hotmail.com). Continue reading »

May 232014
 

Original story by Angela Fedele, Sourceable

Design works have officially commenced on the $50 million aquarium, which has been described as a “bold and confident architectural statement” for the town.
A tectonic façade that symbolises the movement of the earth will serve as the iconic architectural feature of the new Cairns Aquarium and Research Centre.

A tectonic façade that symbolises the movement of the earth will serve as the iconic architectural feature of the new Cairns Aquarium and Research Centre.

The building was a collaborative design project between Peddle Thorp Architects (PTA) and Architects Ellick and Partners. PTA has already completed nine aquarium projects, including Melbourne Aquarium’s Antarctic Exhibit and the fish tank which sits within the city’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Continue reading »

May 022014
 

Original story by Daniel Bateman, Cairns Post

A RARE tropical fish never seen in Australian waters has been collected from the depths of the Coral Sea to be sold to an overseas aquarium.
DEEP SEARCH: Cairns Marine has collected a rare fish (pseudanthias Aurulentus, Golden Anthias) from the Coral Sea, believed to be an Australian first. Divers dove to a depth of 60m on the reef to collect the species, pictured at Cairns Marine. Photo: News Limited

DEEP SEARCH: Cairns Marine has collected a rare fish (pseudanthias Aurulentus, Golden Anthias) from the Coral Sea, believed to be an Australian first. Divers dove to a depth of 60m on the reef to collect the species, pictured at Cairns Marine. Photo: News Limited

Far North-based aquarium collectors Cairns Marine discovered a school of golden anthias at a depth of 60m during an expedition last week at Holmes Reef, about 240km east of Cairns.

The colourful fish are typically known from the Central Pacific, extending south of Hawaii.

Pseudanthias aurulentus - Golden Anthias. Photo: News Limited

Pseudanthias aurulentus - Golden Anthias. Photo: News Limited

They are regarded within the aquarium world as the perfect coral reef display fish, however they are difficult to come by in the wild due to their deep-water nature.

Cairns Marine is Australia’s largest supplier of marine life for display, supplying retail outlets, international wholesalers and public aquariums.

It is one of two aquarium companies in Australia that is licensed to collect some species within the Coral Sea.

Cairns Marine’s Fenton Walsh said one of the company’s divers, using a rebreather apparatus, was able to recognise the large school of thousands of golden anthias and act quickly enough to catch about 70 individuals.

“It takes a pretty keen eye. There wouldn’t be too many people who would have spotted it,’’ he said.

“The average person would just say it’s just another pretty fish swimming around.

“It doesn’t look any different to the other ones out on the Reef.”

The company’s sales and logistics manager Julian Baggio said some anthias would be sold in Japan, while others were destined for retailers across Australia.

“We’re also taking some to a large aquarium trade show in Germany later next month,’’ he said.