Thanks to the efforts of Russell Hudson and commercial fishers, the Molecular Fisheries Laboratory has received 246 new samples. They represent fish populations from the Great Australian Bight and south-east Australia. Genetic data from the samples, along with information about the reproductive state of the fishes, will lead to increased understanding of the stock structure of the western part of the range of gemfish. The Gemfish project is currently underway in the MFL collaboration with Andy Moore from ABARES in Canberra.
Carlos Bustamante submitted his PhD thesis yesterday. In three years and three months, Carlos has published 10 papers - seven of which were included in his thesis entitled "Biology, Taxonomy and Distribution of south-east Pacific Cartilaginous Fishes" Carlos and colleagues celebrated yesterday (left to right, Carlos Bustamante, Bonnie Holmes, Carolina Vargas-Caro, Mike Bennett, Kate Burgess and Samuel Williams). Carlos was supervised by Mike Bennet during his PhD. Carlos is working with Jennifer Ovenden and Andy Moore on the Gemfish project.
The fishing industry and the Australian Fisheries Management Agency (AFMA) generously agreed to take extra samples for the gemfish project when project leader Andy Moore met with them last week. Andy says this will ensure the project has the best possible picture of the timing and location of spawning in this important commercial species. Jenny Ovenden says this information will be essential to work out the spatial stock structure of the species from the genetic analyses that are underway. Russell Hudson from Fishwell Consulting and AFMA will coordinate the sampling effort.
The genome of a gemfish has been sequenced at MFL. The fish sequenced was landed by FV Territory Pearl on 3rd November 2013 off the South Australian coast and was provided by Raptis P/L from Adelaide. The information in the genome will help to analyse the spatial extent of the fishery in the Great Australian Bight. Read more about this project here.
This pamphlet is a jargon-free zone for everyone interested the sustainable exploitation and conservation of marine and freshwater fishes. A download link to the pdf document can be found here.
[caption id="attachment_875" align="alignleft" width="300"] Part of the DNA sequence of gemfish[/caption] The first gemfish samples from the project to understand the biological stock structure of this species in southern Australia have been analysed. DNA sequences from the mitochondrial genome are part of the genetic data that will be used.
[caption id="attachment_833" align="alignleft" width="300"] AFMA observer with female gemfish, 94 cm in length (photo Jim Raptis, 2013).[/caption] During a recent meeting in Adelaide, the Great Australian Bight Research Assessment Group (GABRAG) discussed the western gemfish project and the biology of this species. Those who attended the meeting included (left to right) Ian Knuckey, Jim Raptis, Andy Moore, Jeff Moore, Marcus Finn and Andrew Trappett (photo Jeff Moore).
Dr Andrea Armani from the Fish Lab of the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Pisa (Italy) is developing a genetic method for the identification of species of the gemfish family in the northern hemisphere (in particular Rexea pretiosus and Lepidocybium flavobrunneum). These species are often mislabeled in the marketplace. The genetic multiplex test will be available for use by private companies and governments to improve consumer confidence in the fishing industry. Andrea will be working with the COI gene of the mitochondrial genome. The Molecular Fisheries Laboratory will help by sending some fin clips from Australian gemfish (Rexea solandri) for validation test. [caption id="attachment_808" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Australian gemfish (Rexea solandri)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_806" align="alignleft" width="300"] The European gemfish (Rexea pretiosus).[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_791" align="alignleft" width="300"] Carlos Bustamante (above) and Jenny Ovenden are working on the genetic analyses.[/caption] MFL has received the first batch of samples for the gemfish project from Raptis P/L in Adelaide (South Australia). Genetic information from these samples, and many others along the Southern Australian coastline, will provide important new information to ensure sustainable harvesting of this fisheries resource.
Gemfish project leader Andy Moore from ABARES in Canberra discussed the final survey design with members of the GABRAG (Great Australian Bight Resource Assessment Group) at a meeting on the November 31 2013 in Port Lincoln, South Australia. The fishing industry is very supportive of the research and have offered their help to collect samples. This week, Jenny Ovenden (right) met with Don Colgan (left) and John Paxton at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Don and John were the authors of the original funded study on gemfish. They reported two separate populations; one on the Australian east coast, and the likelihood of another in the Great Australia Bight. The current gemfish project will re-examine this hypothesis using new samples and samples from the original project that are being made available by the Fish Section of the Australian Museum. This will add certainty to the assessment of the status of the fishery and help with sustainability of the industry