A new paper from the Laboratory reports on the degree of connectivity in blue marlin populations across the Pacific Ocean using genomic markers (6204 SNP and 17 microsatellite loci) . It provides much-needed new information for the management of this highly migratory and highly sought-after species.
PhD student Sam Williams will be supported by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to attend an international conference and study tour in Canada. The award is for young future leaders in the Australian recreational fishing community. The bursary includes attendance to the World Recreational Fishing Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and a study tour following the conference. Topics to be explored on the study tour include: allocation decisions in the halibut fishery, intra, inter and international issues regarding salmon management and allocation, habitat enhancement and its relationship with stocking programs, education and empowerment programs for anglers and comparing the Canadian and American recreational fisheries models with Australia. Find out more about Sam's research on black marlin here.
Three MFL students have been awarded funds for travel and research. Carolina Vargas-Caro and Safia Maher received Student Travel Awards to attend the upcoming conference of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society and Oceania Chondrichthyan Society at the University of Auckland 6 - 9th July 2015. Carolina will speak about her work on the population genetics of Long-nose Skates and Safia Maher will present a poster on Tiger shark genetics. Samuel Williams has received two awards from the Australian Society of Fish Biology. The Michael Hall Student Award will support Sam's research on the global population genetics of Black Marlin and the John Glover Award will support Sam's attendance at the ASFB conference in Sydney in 2015. An MFL photo shows Sam Williams (left), Carolina Vargas-Caro (top row, left) and Safia Maher (top, right) along with Mike Bennett, Carlos Bustamante, Einar Nielsen, Jenny Ovenden, Kate Burgess and Deb Bowden (left to right). Kate also received a travel award to the New Zealand conference to present her work on the ecology of the Giant Manta Ray (supervisor: Mike Bennett).
Project Black Marlin has reached a major milestone with the completion of Samuel William's honours thesis. We have been able to reject the idea of only one breeding population of Black Marlin the Indian and Pacific Ocean, using fin-clips collected by the game-fishing community in Australia and by Sam from fish markets in Taiwan. Sam has evidence of three breeding populations. There may be more, which will require tissue sample collection from all parts of the distribution of the species. More details can be found in the Black Marlin Bulletin for June 2014.
Samuel Williams and collaborator Julian Pepperell have released the April edition of the Black Marlin Bulletin. Download the April Black Marlin Bulletin here. Find out more about Project Black Marlin on the MFL web site. Sam has completed population genetic analyses of the species in waters around Australia and in the South China Sea. The results will be released soon.