Seven-month-old spotted handfish, 25-30 mm in length. Handfish have been bred in captivity as part of a federally-funded recovery program 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.

Attribution – You must give the original author credit. (CC BY 3.0)
Picture credit: Craig Macaulay/CSIRO Marine Research.
Photographer: Craig Macaulay/CSIRO Marine Research.

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