The secret life of one of northern Australias most popular sportfish, the spectacular queenfish, is being studied by CSIRO scientists for clues to its role and abundance in the marine ecosystem.
The year-long study, co-funded by the National Oceans Office, is collecting more than 30 specimens a month from the Gulf of Carpentaria near Weipa where queenfish are caught by recreational anglers and inshore net fisheries. Results of the study will improve the ability of fisheries managers to sustain queenfish populations into the future.
CSIRO marine biologist Dr Shane Griffiths says queenfish are a major predator of commercially important prawns in the Northern Prawn Fishery, particularly in the Weipa region. Despite their prominence in estuarine and nearshore food webs little is known about the life cycle of queenfish. "By examining the gonads of queenfish specimens we hope to determine when they spawn, their age at sexual maturity, and the number of eggs produced by mature females," Dr Griffiths says.
Simon Moore | CSIRO Media
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