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 Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>