Finterest readers will be interested to hear about Australasian Fishes, a citizen science website that allows you to easily search and upload your catches and sightings of fishes from Australia and New Zealand. Since it went online in October 2016, Australasian Fishes has grown rapidly; today it contains nearly 75000 observations. The site allows for the upload of freshwater and marine species.

Click here to visit the website.

Some of the available features:

Anybody can easily search for their favourite species or locality to retrieve a species list or points on a map.

Map of Australian Bass, Macquaria novemaculeata, observations.

If you wish to upload your observations, or to identify and comment on existing observations you need to join the project, which is free and easy. You can even set up email notifications to inform you whenever observations that match your criteria of interest (name of fish and/or geographic areas) are uploaded. If you get really keen you can define your own region of interest with a polygon and receive notifications of new observations that occur within the area.

Grid of Australian Bass, Macquaria novemaculeata, images.

Through Australasian Fishes, we’ve made hundreds of ‘findings’ that address topics such as range extensions, diet and feeding, parasites and fungal infections, potential new species, courtship and reproduction, plus introduced fishes.

A community for all fish enthusiasts

One of the big strengths of Australasian Fishes is its community, which includes both the public and professional ichthyologists.  If you upload an image simply identified to “bony fish”, in no time at all your fish will be identified by keen fish enthusiasts. Often the taxonomic expert is called on for help. Observations of more than 2400 species have been uploaded by more than 2200 people.

You may find Australasian Fishes useful as an online repository of images and data from your years of angling or research work. Having your observations online allows wider access to these data and makes them available for potential use in research projects.  If you have hard drives full of fish images, you may consider using Australasian Fishes as a backup and management tool.

I encourage you to explore the site here and contact me if you have any queries.

Mark McGrouther
Australian Museum