Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First view of giant crabs - at home on the slope

26.11.2003


Australian scientists have had their first view of the habitats and ecosystem that support Australia’s largest commercial crab - the "giant crab".



A series of five surveys are planned in waters of 150-350 metres depth to assess the seabed habitats of the giant crab (Pseudocarcinus gigas) at the edge of the continental shelf around Tasmania.

The pilot survey was completed on the State’s east coast earlier this month in a collaborative project between CSIRO Marine Research and the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI), University of Tasmania.


"We used a specially designed camera platform towed behind a research vessel to provide a tremendously exciting first look at the type of habitat that supports the giant crab fishery," says project scientist, Dr Alan Williams, from CSIRO Marine Research in Hobart.

"We were as pleasantly surprised by the extremely good detail provided by the new cameras system as we were by the range of habitats we were able to film," he said.

Seafloor features observed ranged from large plains of muddy sands supporting communities of small invertebrate animals, to ridges, and rock outcrops exceeding 20 metres in height.

The project includes a study of the distribution of the giant crab in relation to habitat features, evaluating ecosystem links with the seabed habitats and assessing the abundance, sex, condition and size of the giant crabs.

"The crab trap fishery is a unique Australian fishery, and based in an environment and depth that, until now, we have not had the technology to study in this way," says project leader Dr Caleb Gardner, from the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI).

"Sustainability of all Australian fisheries is reliant on healthy habitats and ecosystems and this project seeks to identify the characteristics of the system and what, if any, impacts are occurring as a result of fishing activity," Dr Gardner said.

The long-lived, slow-growing giant crab is highly sought-after especially in the Asian market. Although mostly sold at around 4kg and with a shell of 20 cm or less, the crab reaches a massive 13.5 kg.

The Tasmanian pot fishery expanded rapidly in the 1990’s and is now targeted across southern Australia in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

Funded by the Tasmanian fishing industry and the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment, the project is a joint study involving the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, CSIRO Marine Research, and the crab trapping and finfish trawling sectors.

More information:

Dr Caleb Gardner, TAFI, 03-62277277

Dr Alan Williams, CSIRO, 03-62325222

Rosie Schmedding | CSIRO
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&docid=Prgiantcrab2&style=mediaRelease
http://www.utas.edu.au/tafi/
http://www.marine.csiro.au/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>