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Australia / New Zealand Newswire

Queensland Satellite-Tags Second Shark; 'Helps Us Understand The Behavior And Biology Of Dangerous Sharks'
Brisbane, Queensland - Dec 9, 2011 18:36 EST

'Kirra J' is now Queensland's second satellite-tagged great white shark. Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace said she was 2.66 meters long and weighed in at 180 kilograms when caught and tagged off the Gold Coast last week. "Kirra J was tagged on 1...
 
Scientists: Some Fish Can Quickly Adjust To Increased Ocean Temperatures; 'We Were Amazed - Stunned, Even'
Townsville, Queensland - Dec 5, 2011 20:01 EST

Australian scientists have discovered that some tropical fish have a greater capacity to cope with rising sea temperatures than previously thought – by adjusting over several generations. The discovery, by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies,...
 
Scientific Sleuths Pinpoint The Guilty Coral Killers; 'Different Diseases Can Often Look Very Similar'
Cairns, Australia - Nov 23, 2011 18:54 EST

The elusive culprits that are killing countless coral reefs around the world can now be nabbed with technology normally used to diagnose human diseases, marine researchers say. Coral researchers and reef managers will be able to identify coral infections using a...
 
Corals Can Sense What's Coming, Commit 'Cell Suicide' When Conditions Deteriorate
Cairns, Australia - Nov 19, 2011 17:00 EST

Australian scientists have thrown new light on the mechanism behind the mass death of corals worldwide as the Earth's climate warms. Coral bleaching, one of the most devastating events affecting coral reefs around the planet, is triggered by rising water temperatures....
 
Greenpeace Releases Shocking Whistleblower Tuna Fish Footage; 'Obscene Waste Of Ocean Life'
Auckland, New Zealand - Nov 16, 2011 20:39 EST

Greenpeace today released shocking footage and images of whales and a marlin and ray dying at the hands of industrial tuna fishers in the Pacific Ocean. The footage was shot by a New Zealand helicopter pilot turned whistleblower, who undertook aerial...
 
Tasmania: Last Whale Dies After West Coast Mass Stranding; 'We Did Everything Possible'
Hobart, Tasmania - Nov 16, 2011 20:24 EST

The last survivor of the weekend whale stranding on Tasmania's West Coast died at 7pm last night. Parks and Wildlife Service incident controller Chris Arthur said the 12-metre sperm whale died following attempts late in the day to return it to...
 
Researchers: Some Coral Reefs Can Lower Ocean Acidity; 'Overall, CO2 Enrichment And Ocean Acidification Is Bad News'
Townsville, Australia - Nov 9, 2011 19:17 EST

Coral reefs can both positively and negatively influence the acidity of their surrounding seawater. That is the take-home message of two papers recently published in the international journal Global Change Biology, by a group of scientists from the Australian Institute...
 
Researchers: Climate Change To Force Sea Life To Swim 'Farther And Faster' To Survive; Equator To Empty Out
Cairns, Australia - Nov 3, 2011 21:20 EST

Fish and other sea creatures will have to travel large distances to survive climate change, international marine scientists have warned. Sea life, particularly in the Indian Ocean, the Western and Eastern Pacific and the subarctic oceans will face growing pressures...
 
Commentary: Sea Shepherd Strongly Opposes Western Australia Government's Call For A Shark Cull
Fitzroy, Victoria - Oct 29, 2011 20:02 EST

The Western Australian (WA) Government has unfortunately given a green light to hunt for a shark that killed a man in the waters off of Rottnest Island on October 22, 2011. The 32-year-old American man was diving and spear fishing,...
 
Seaweed Records Show Impact Of Ocean Warming; 'Trees Of The Ocean' Heading Toward Extinction
Perth, Australia - Oct 28, 2011 17:00 EST

As the planet continues to warm, it appears that seaweeds may be in especially hot water. New findings reported online on October 27 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, based on herbarium records collected in Australia since the 1940s...
 
Ultimate Survivor: Scientists Film Hagfish Deploying Anti-Shark Slime Weapon
Aukland, New Zeland - Oct 27, 2011 17:15 EST

The hagfish found in New Zealand's deepest waters is grotesque enough, thanks to its scary protruding teeth straight from a horror film. Now, scientists have witnessed the full power of its other gruesome feature – a built-in slime weapon...
 
'Summer Of The Shark Hunt': Shark Attack Researcher Argues Shark Hunts Are Political, Not Practical
Sydney, Australia - Oct 23, 2011 18:26 EST

"This year may be remembered as the 'summer of the shark hunt'," stated Christopher Neff, University of Sydney doctoral research student studying the politics of shark attacks. Neff added, "Shark bites are terrible events and for a third time this...
 
Research: Deep-Reef Coral Hates The Light, Prefers The Shade; 'Increased Capacity To Exploit Nutrients And Plankton'
Brisbane, Australia - Oct 19, 2011 18:24 EST

Deep-reef coral grows more prosperously in very little sunlight researchers at The University of Queensland and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have found. The research team looked at coral populations from three habitats on coral reefs...
 
Marine Sanctuaries: Tourism, Diving, Environment Groups Say 'Great For Western Australia'
West Perth, Western Australia - Oct 17, 2011 20:38 EST

Environment groups, divers and tourism operators have rejected negative claims by fishing lobby groups about the impact of new marine sanctuaries, instead agreeing they will be produce a win-win for regional economies and marine life. The coalition of environment, diving and...
 
Research: Hurricane Activity Is Clustered Rather Than Random; 'Clustered Events Are Less Damaging'
Brisbane, Australia - Oct 17, 2011 19:02 EST

New research has found that hurricane activity is 'clustered' rather than random, which has important long-term implications for coastal ecosystems and human population. The research was carried out by Professor Peter Mumby from The University of Queensland Global Change Institute...
 
Dating Drought Or Purple Patch? Fish Reveal How Males Choose Mates
Sydney, Australia - Oct 12, 2011 22:06 EST

Males decide how much effort they put into courtship and which females to court based on how many others they have recently encountered and how attractive they were, according to a new study into the mating tactics of tropical fish. Males...
 
Lungfish Provides Insight To Life On Land; 'Humans Are Just Modified Fish'
Melbourne, Victoria - Oct 4, 2011 19:32 EST

A study into the muscle development of several different fish has given insights into the genetic leap that set the scene for the evolution of hind legs in terrestrial animals. This innovation gave rise to the tetrapods—four-legged creatures, and our...
 
New Analysis Confirms Sharks Are In Trouble; 'Widespread, Substantial, And Ongoing Declines'
Townsville, Queensland - Sep 28, 2011 12:12 EST

Sharks are in big trouble on the Great Barrier Reef and worldwide, according to an Australian-based team who have developed a world-first way to measure rates of decline in shark populations. "There is mounting evidence of widespread, substantial, and ongoing declines...
 
Aussie Researcher Discovers New Dolphin Species In Victoria; 'A Large Sea Fish Of The Porpoise Kind'
Melbourne, Victoria - Sep 15, 2011 16:11 EST

They're one of the most intelligent marine mammals, well known for their inquisitive and playful nature and now, following an amazing discovery by a Monash University researcher, Victoria's dolphins have been formally recognised as a new species. Kate Charlton-Robb, a PhD...
 
Researchers: Patchy Reefs 'Good For Fish', Reduces Competition For Weaker Or Newcomers
Townsville, Queensland - Sep 5, 2011 18:23 EST

Vital clues to coral reef recovery have been identified in a remarkable research project in which three scientists labored to hand-build 30 coral reefs from hundreds of tonnes of rock and gravel. Working in a shallow, sandy area of Kimbe Bay...
 
Researchers: Dolphin 'Conching' May Be Spreading To Others 'Before Our Very Eyes'
Perth, Australia - Aug 25, 2011 00:11 EST

Researchers from Murdoch University believe a recently documented method of fishing may be spreading throughout a population of dolphins. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Shark Bay were photographed engaging in 'conching' in 2007 and 2009. The dolphins would trap small fish...
 
Researchers: Climate Will Damage Reefs At 'Different Rates'; Current Projections 'Overestimated The Rapidity' Of Decline
Cairns, Australia - Jul 22, 2011 13:04 EST

Climate change and acidifying ocean water are likely to have a highly variable impact on the world's coral reefs in space, time and diversity, according to an international team of coral scientists, including UQ researchers. The picture that is emerging...
 
Research: New Approach To Sustain 'Forage' Fishing Required; 'Demand Is Rising'
Canberra, Australia - Jul 21, 2011 20:32 EST

Reduced catches of small oceanic 'forage' fish like sardines and anchovies may be required in some ocean areas in order to protect the larger predators that rely on these species for food. This is a finding of the first major study...
 
Researchers: Strep Infections Responsible For Aussie Groper Deaths; 'We Need A Better Understanding Of The Immune System'
Brisbane, Queensland - Jul 20, 2011 22:01 EST

Researchers are in a race against time to save Queensland's protected groper fish, which are washing up dead along the beaches of Northern Queensland in increasing numbers. Associate Professor Andy Barnes, from The University of Queensland's (UQ) School of Biological...
 
Not Helpful: Indian Ocean Pirates Impede Climate Observations
Victoria, Australia - Jul 15, 2011 18:47 EST

Australian scientists have sought the help of the United States and Australian navies to plug a critical gap in their Argo ocean and climate monitoring program caused by Somali pirates operating in the western Indian Ocean. "We have not been able...
 
First As Aussie Scientists Map The Staghorn Coral Genome; 'Project Has Both Practical And Scientific Significance'
Cairns, Australia - Jul 5, 2011 18:28 EST

Australian scientists today announced they have sequenced the genome of the staghorn coral Acropora millepora, a major component of the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs worldwide. This is the first animal genome project to be carried out entirely in Australia,...
 
Redefinition Of 'Seawater' To Aid Climate Research; 'A More Accurate Calculation Of Salinity'
Canberra, Australia - Jun 30, 2011 20:08 EST

A specialist in thermal fluid dynamics, CSIRO Wealth from Ocean Flagship's Dr Trevor McDougall, recently led an international science team which has – following its acceptance by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – now released a new thermodynamic definition of salinity,...
 
Are Fish Much Smarter Than We Think? Fish Found Using Simple Tool To Smash Shells
Sydney, Australia - Jun 28, 2011 20:51 EST

Fish are not renowned for their smarts, but new evidence suggests that they may even be able to use simple tools. In a paper published today in the journal Coral Reefs, researchers from Macquarie University and Central Queensland University report on...
 
Scientist Discover Landscape Of Fear Visible From Space; Fish And Urchin Grazing Halos Confirmed With Google Earth
Sydney Australia - Jun 20, 2011 16:56 EST

While most of us could find no better use for Google Earth than checking out a holiday destination, scientists in Sydney have shown it can reveal a lot about the behavior of marine life on the Great Barrier Reef. In what...
 
Researcher: Male Desert Goby Fish 'Put Courtship Before Childcare'
Melbourne, Victoria - Jun 10, 2011 16:35 EST

After studying male desert goby fish, a team of Monash researchers has suggested that male sexual behavior is primed to produce the greatest number of offspring. In the underwater world of desert goby fish, it is the males whose work is...
 
Researchers Discover Diving Bell Spiders Can Breathe Under Water; Spun Silk Air Bubble 'Like A Gill'
Adelaide, Australia - Jun 9, 2011 10:56 EST

Researchers have given us new insights into how a species of air-breathing spider can spend its whole life under water, only venturing to the surface occasionally to replenish its air supply. The 'diving bell spider' or 'water spider' (Argyroneta aquatica) is...
 
Scientists: Ocean Gliders Uncover Underwater 'Rivers' Off Perth
Perth, Australia - Jun 6, 2011 18:26 EST

Oceanographers at The University of Western Australia have discovered the first underwater 'rivers' to be identified in a sub-tropical region flowing along the ocean bed off Perth's coastline. The finding published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters reveals 'rivers' or...
 
New Reefs Found In The Great Barrier Reef 'Twilight' Zone
Townsville, Queensland - May 19, 2011 20:28 EST

An international research team led by researchers from James Cook University using a high-tech underwater robot have discovered diverse coral reef communities living in the unexplored deep waters along the Great Barrier Reef shelf-edge. Tom Bridge, a PhD Candidate in JCU's...
 
Kiwi Researcher: One-Way Barrier Used To Keep Out Koi, Save Lakes; 'It's A Real Simple System Really'
Hamilton, New Zealand - May 16, 2011 20:57 EST

A new barrier designed by a University of Waikato researcher may prove that removing pest fish from lakes and waterways can improve water quality, without forcing farmers to minimize profits. Waikato University researcher Dr Adam Daniel says it's well known pest...
 
Disaster As Australian Fur Seals Suffer Hair Loss, Threatening Health And Survival
Parkville, Victoria - May 12, 2011 21:29 EST

Journal of Mammalogy – Advertisers often tell us how life-changing hair loss can be, but it actually is a matter of life and death for the Australian fur seal. These seals depend on a thick coat of fur to maintain...
 
Scientists: Ocean Warming Detrimental To Inshore Fish Species; 'Slowing Growth And Increased Physiological Stress'
Tasmania, Australia - Apr 18, 2011 12:17 EST

The findings of a study published today in Nature Climate Change indicate negative effects on the growth of a long-lived south-east Australian and New Zealand inshore species – the banded morwong. Scientific monitoring since 1944 by CSIRO at Maria Island,...
 
Scientists Propose Large-Scale Expansion Of 'Rigs To Reefs' Programs; 'Policy Based On Science Is Badly Needed'
Sydney, Australia - Apr 14, 2011 10:13 EST

It might seem surprising that marine scientists are proposing a way for the oil and gas industry to save billions of dollars decommissioning old offshore rigs, but it's a plan where the main beneficiary is intended to be the environment. In...
 
Scientists Complete First Broad-Scale Maps Of Life On The Australian Sea-Shelf; 'We Identified 37 Environmental Factors'
Hobart, Tasmania - Mar 27, 2011 17:46 EST

Marine scientists from five research agencies have pooled their skills and resources to compile a directory of life on Australia's continental shelf. They examined the shelf seascape during a three-year program of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) Marine Biodiversity Hub. Hub...
 
Researchers: Fish Become Wary Of Spearfishermen; 'The Fish Tended To Move Off'
Townsville, Queensland - Mar 22, 2011 19:20 EST

Fish are not as dumb as people sometimes think: marine scientists have found that fish that are regularly hunted with spearguns are much more wary and keep their distance from fishers. In investigating the effects of marine areas closed to fishing...
 
Research: Weed-Eating Fish May Be Vital To Saving The World's Coral Reefs; 'We Are Seeing A Fundamental Change'
Cairns, Australia - Mar 9, 2011 21:38 EST

Preserving an intact population of weed-eating fish may be vital to saving the world's coral reefs from being engulfed by weed as human and climate impacts grow. A new study by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef...
 

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