Project Black Marlin

Population genetic structure in the Indo-Pacific


Jenny Ovenden


Mike Bennett
Julian Pepperell
Samuel Williams

Funding body

Supported by funding from the Queensland Game Fishing Association Inc. and SeaWorld Research and Rescue Foundation.


The black marlin (Istiompax indica), one of the largest finfish in the world, belongs to the billfish Family Istiophoridae. Black marlin are more commonly caught within Australian waters than anywhere else. However, they are not a commercial species, but have significant value to the catch-and-release recreational fishery. Their status as a highly migratory marine fish gives them a cosmopolitan distribution in all of the world’s tropical and sub-tropical regions. As the world’s oceans generally lack physical barriers, the use of molecular genetic techniques are critical for understanding population structure. Even low levels of population subdivision can have major implications for the scale of fisheries management.

Project ‘black marlin’ attempts to investigate the population structure of black marlin within Australian waters by examining young-of-the-year cohorts using molecular population genetics.


August, 2013
Sept, 2013
Oct/Nov, 2013
January, 2014
April 2014
June 2014

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