Research into Far North Queensland’s reef fish continues

Far North Queensland’s reef fish species will be the focus of Department of Primary Industries research activities during October.
The reef fish research is part of the Queensland Fisheries Service’s long term monitoring program, initiated in 1999 to monitor major fishery species and their habitat.
DPI fisheries biologist Chad Lunow said in last year’s survey, the researchers made some interesting findings.
"Common coral trout was the most commonly observed species during the 2000 surveys, making up more than a third of the fish observed. These trout ranged between 11 centimetres and 65 centimetres in length," Mr Lunow said.
"Blue-spot trout and inshore trout made up just over 5 per cent of the total number of fish observed, while stripey and spangled emperor were also common species sighted on the underwater surveys.
"Other fish valued by the recreational and commercial reef fisher were also counted, including moses perch, red bass, barramundi cod, maori wrasse and red throat emperor. Barramundi cod made up 2.1 per cent of the total fish number, while maori wrasse was 2.2 per cent of the total population."
To ensure the accuracy of the data collected, the team of five researchers used standardised methods.
"The research is conducted as an underwater visual census, and researchers identify, count and estimate the size of the important reef fish species without harming the fish," Mr Lunow said.
The dates of this year’s surveys are as follows:

Cairns to Eyrie Reef (northern-central reefs) October 1 to October 14. Cairns to Black Reef (southern-central reefs) October 19 to October 31.

Further information:Chad Lunow Fisheries Biologist Ph: 40 350 191 Sue Helmke Fisheries Biologist Ph: 40 350 100 Andrea Corby Media Officer NQ Ph: 47 222 648