News & Updates

The Latest Handfish News

December 19, 2022
Best Practice Guidelines for Diving & Snorkelling with Handfish

The Best Practice Guidelines for Diving and Snorkelling with Handfish is a collaborative initiative promoting ethical diving with threatened and vulnerable handfish species in Tasmania. These guidelines were developed by Tasmanian divers/snorkelers and scientists to highlight and minimize impacts to endemic and critically endangered handfish. The purpose is to: Key Messages Specific recommendations Download the […]

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November 23, 2020
Ziebell's handfish

Ziebell’s handfish is named in honour of an avid diver and fisher named Allen ‘Alby’ Ziebell, who collected some of the original specimens. We were lucky to be contacted by Alby’s son Ian, who follows the handfish work – and helped fill in some of the details about his father and why this fish was […]

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November 18, 2020
Red handfish habitat restoration

One of the key threats to Red handfish survival is the loss and degradation of their habitat. This could happen for several reasons, including climate change, land-based pollution or siltation, too little, too much, or the wrong nutrients. An increase in Short Spined Urchins (Heliocidaris erythrogramma) has had the clearest impact on Red handfish habitat […]

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November 12, 2020
Raising red handfish, with Rachelle Hawkins, Seahorse World.

Rachelle Hawkins is one of the owners and directors of Seahorse World in Beauty Point, Tasmania and is the original Head Biologist of the seahorse farm, having worked with the organisation since it started. Rachelle has been involved with the National Handfish Recovery Team since ~2016. Her involvement buoyed by a small article in Hatchery […]

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July 22, 2020
Finding Spotted handfish, with Carlie Devine.

We recently caught up with Carlie Devine, CSIRO as a photographer, scientific diver and research technician, to chat about her work over the years with with Spotted handfish. Background: tell us about yourself! I grew up in an inland town in Victoria but my family would take my two brothers and I to stay at […]

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July 17, 2020
Ocean Geographic feature on Red handfish

Earlier this year, Handfish Conservation Project coordinator Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith was invited to contribute an article to Ocean Geographic on Red handfish. The article has just been published! You can purchase the full magazine by subscribing to Ocean Geographic HERE, or **you can download the section just on Red handfish HERE: Thank you to contributing […]

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May 4, 2020
The search for Red and Ziebell's handfish

Red and Ziebell's handfish are small cryptic fish that don’t move much and are difficult to find. There are two known populations of Red handfish in south-eastern Tasmania, and Ziebell's handfish have not been seen for over ten years. But how do we know there are no other populations out there? While we can’t say […]

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May 1, 2020
Writing about handfish - with Katherine Richardson

We caught up with Katherine Richardson, a local Tasmanian writer, who is putting together a children's book on Red handfish. Katherine – tell us a bit about yourself! I grew up in Campania, which is a little country town just past Richmond. I went to the local primary school and I had some really fantastic […]

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January 16, 2020
Handfish monitoring with Helen O'Neill (CSIRO)

We caught up with Helen O'Neill - a research assistant at CSIRO. Helen is involved in a number of projects including the Australian National Fish Collection, developing and populating fishIDER (a bilingual web-based fish identification tool to improve fish identification skills and monitoring capacity in Indonesia), and, of course - Spotted Handfish monitoring. Background: tell […]

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September 23, 2019
Handfish DNA

Our Red Handfish IMAS/CSIRO PhD student, Tyson Bessell, is incorporating a genetic component into his research. Under the direction of expert geneticists, Dr Sharon Appleyard (CSIRO, Hobart) and Dr Carolyn Hogg (University of Sydney), he will be looking at several key areas, including: Characterising gene regions in Red Handfish  Assessing whether we can use non-harmful […]

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