An online mapping tool that enables anyone to locate Australian marine fishes on a map has been released, enabling users to search more than 4,500 fish species and find each of their locations, depth ranges, family and ecosystem. The CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia (CMAR) maps also include illustrations of each species as well as visual maps of their habitats.
“Australia’s marine biodiversity is among the richest in world,” ichthyologist Daniel Gledhill of CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship told Ecology.com. “FishMap is the only resource of its kind in the world that covers virtually all species of marine fish found in the marine waters of an entire continent.”
Using the mapping tool (click here) you can search using three parameters; depth, coastal/shallow (0-40 meters), shelf (0-200m), shelf+Upper slope (0-500m), upper slope only (200-500m) and all depths from 0-2000m; Fish group, which enables you to search all species of Australian fish, including Australian salmons and billfishes, to trevallies, whitings and wrasses; and Locality, which includes all the coastal areas of Australia, encompassing the Northern Territories, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, the Great Australian Bight, New South Wales, and Australian Capital Territory.
For more interesting stories on Australia, click here.
After you set your parameters (Depth, Fish Group and Locality) click search and the database churns into action, searching based on your parameters. For example, searching for wrasses in coastal/shallow water in any locality, Fishmap found 183 species in one family. It details all the species found with an image of each species. You can then search via family list, species list, or species data. Click on a certain genus and it will show the different fish in that family, including the scientific name, the common name and the family. Digging down a bit deeper and clicking the scientific name brings you to the distribution area in which the fish can be found. Click the CAAB Taxon Code and you will have access to taxon information and notes, if any. Other information provided includes a general overview, gallery, names, classification, records and any literature about that particular fish.
CMAR used 2-dimensional analysis that was translatable to geographic maps via a technique called gridded bathymetry. The most up to date version of the mapping data was compiled in 2010-2012 by a CMAR team funded by the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans (WfO) Flagship and the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA). The following people contributed to the project: Daniel Gledhill, Peter Last, William White, Tony Rees, John Pogonoski, Alastair Graham, Carlie Devine, Louise Conboy, Alan Williams, Alison Phillips, Gordon Yearsley, Roger Scott, Spikey Riddoch, Suzanne Long, Vincent Lyne Martin Gomon, Di Bray, Ken Graham, Barry Hutchins, Jeff Johnson, John Paxton, Mark McGrouther, Doug Hoese, Barry Russell, Helen Larson, Tomio Iwamoto, Kunio Amaoka, Lee Belbin, Patricia Kailola, and Rudie Kuiter.
The mapping is performed via Google Maps and many of the images are provided by the Australian National Fish Collection and the Western Australian Museum.