A female spotted handfish in laboratory aquarium with fully developed embryos one day before hatching. Handfish are being bred in captivity as part of a federally-funded recovery plan led by CSIRO Marine Research.
Handfish are small, bottom-dwelling fishes that would rather walk on their pectoral and pelvic fins than swim. They are native to Australia and five of the eight identified handfish species are found only in Tasmania and Bass Strait. The spotted handfish is endemic to Tasmania’s lower Derwent River estuary. In 1996, the spotted handfish became the first Australian marine fish to be listed as endangered. Scientists, government and the community are involved in a federally-funded recovery plan for the spotted handfish led by CSIRO Marine Research.
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Photo credit: Mark Green, CSIRO Marine Research.
Photographer: Mark Green, CSIRO Marine Research.