sarahkeenihan

Day 309. Something fishy going on

In June 2013 on June 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm

redmap

There’s something fishy going on in our seas.

Oceanic animals are on the move.

Well yes….fish do usually swim around a bit. But the geographic range that a particular species of fish or other marine species normally inhabits is quite limited. Southern Bluefin Tuna like the cool oceans at the bottom end of Australia. Marlin tend to hang about in the relatively warmer currents along the Eastern coast of Australia.

So when fish like these start to appear outside of their normal ranges, scientist’s eyebrows start to rise.

Take for example this wahoo caught in South Australia recently. It was way out of its normal range, the Northern waters of Australia.

Its just another piece of evidence that ocean temperatures are increasing. And it’s just one of many data points which has emerged from REDMAP.

REDMAP is an online resource through which recreational and commercial fishers, SCUBA divers, boaters and scientists spot, log and map any uncommon marine species not usually seen in particular coastal areas.

Put together over years, data collected through REDMAP will provide a record of what species are on the move as the oceans around Australia warm. Other data already suggests that oceans around our country have warmed at over twice the global average, and even faster in the south-western and south-eastern regions.

REDMAP is hosted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.

I must disclose I’ve had a few chats with the lovely staff at REDMAP recently, particularly regarding my love of spotting marine species at the bottom end of Yorke Peninsula. They even sent me a precious copy of the out-of-print A Guide to Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopuses of Australiasia, as well as a cool drink bottle (as shown in image above).

I can’t wait to get back to Yorkes and re-start my ocean watching in earnest. I’ll keep you posted.

NB You can also follow REDMAP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedmapAustralia

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  1. REDMAP rocks, doesn’t it?! At Monash we’re getting environmental science students to get involved in some citizen science projects, and redmap is a shining example of what can be achieved!
    And on Christmas island the owners of the dive business there and are starting to have some input too.
    Happy beach combing!

  2. thanks Kirsti, I’m dying to hit the beach!

  3. Recently I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour which is fiction, but based around a similar idea of moving habitats, but for Monarch Butterflies. A very interesting read and also a comment on climate change, class and the relationship between scientists and the lay person. You should check it out Sarah.

  4. oh sounds fab! must get that one….

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