Ever gazed out over the sea and wondered what creatures great and small lie beneath? Wouldn’t it be great if the water was so transparent you could see all that swam by?
The Australian fish world was abuzz this week with the release of FishMap, an online mapping tool that allows humans to check out where their favourite marine fish are living these days. You can see what fish are living in your area and what depth they tend to hang out at, just in case you wanted to drop by. The tool gives fish around Australia an unprecedented ability to compete for the attentions of people. With 4500 Australian marine fishes listed, including our 320 sharks and rays, there are sure to be plenty jostling for your affection.
With FishMap you can find out what fish occur at any location or depth in the waters of Australia’s continental shelf and slope. You can also create species lists for any region that include photographs and illustrations, distribution maps and current scientific and common names.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics more than five million Australians take part in recreational fishing in Australia as a leisure activity.
There is also a large commercial seafood and aquaculture industry which is worth over $2 billion annually and employs around 16,000 people.
Combined with the number of people who love a good feed of fish, there are a lot of people with a direct interest in the oceans and seas of Australia and what is in them.
Here are some of the stars of FishMap: