Current Research

100 years of biological change in south east Australian waters

PIs: J Morrongiello, R Thresher, D Smith

University of Melbourne and CSIROmorwong otolith

South east Australian waters support both unique biodiversity and major commercial fisheries, but the region and its natural resources are increasingly being exposed to rapid oceanic warming. Here we investigate the environmental drivers of fish growth variation using a data set of unprecedented spatial, temporal and biological coverage. Otolith-based growth time series for over 30 species and stocks, of up to 100 years in length, from across nearly 3000km of coastal SE Australia and a range of habitats have been analysed. Long-term growth patterns for many species display strong temporal synchrony pointing to universal ecosystem drivers. Directional trends are indicative of warming (via direct and indirect pathways) either promoting or inhibiting growth, whilst quasi decadal oscillations reemphasise the importance of zonal westerly winds in driving recruitment and system productivity variation. Funding: CSIRO

Riparian habitat change, water temperature and trout

PIs: J Morrongiello

University of Melbourne, Fisheries Victoria and Arthutroutr Rylah Institute

This project aims to understand how changes to the riparian zone can affect water temperature, and how local changes such as willow removal compare to broader, regional-scale, processes in affecting Victoria’s trout fishery. This project forms part of a broader study of trout in Victoria led by Fisheries Victoria. More information can be found here. Funding: Fisheries Victoria and Arthur Rylah Institute

Assessing the sustainability of Venus Bay’s recreational and commercial pipi harvest

PIs: J Morrongiello

University of Melbourne

Venus Bay supports one of only two large recreationally fiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshed pipi populations in Victoria. This mollusc inhabits the intertidal zones of surf beaches where they are harvested for human consumption and bait. Due to their ease of collection, pipis are prone to overfishing. In recent years there has been a massive increase in the number of recreational fishers harvesting pipis from Venus Bay. There is growing public and scientific concern that declines in the size and abundance of Venus Bay pipis are indicative of overfishing.This project aims to provide much needed scientific insight into how the Venus Bay pipi population responds to natural environmental variation and harvesting. Funding: Recreational Fishing Grants Program

Barramundi and catfish movement and floodplain use in Kakadu

PIs: D Crook, T Saunders, J Morrongiellotop end

Charles Darwin University, NT Fisheries and University of Melbourne

This project is led by Dave Crook uses radio telemetry to to investigate the ennirvonmental drivers of fish movement across the wet season and why they might be using the floodplain. Funding: NT Fisheries

Environmental cues for spawning migrations and reproduction in Australian grayling

PIs: W Koster, J Morrongiello

Arthur Rylah Institute and University of Melbourne

Funding: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Success and limitations of the trout control strategy to conserve Galaxias fuscus

PIs: T Raadik, J Morrongiello

galaxias fuscus

Arthur Rylah Institute and University of Melbourne

Funding: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning