WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S most reported species was the redthroat emperor (Lethrinus miniatus). Redmap WA members are spotting this species below Perth, which is out of its usual range (Photo: MarkR)
TASMANIA'S top logged species was the eastern rock lobster (Sagmariasus verreauxi). This one was caught by Danny Lee in northern Tasmania.
NEW SOUTH WALES' most reported species was the Brokenline wrasse (Stethojulis interrupta). This tropical fish is more at home in QLD waters. Redmap aims to better map its distribution, particularly below Port Stephens (Photo: Tom Davis).
QUEENSLAND'S most reported Redmap species was Barramundi (Lates calcarifer). We ask Queenslanders to log this fish south of Bundaberg (Photo: Martha Brians).
VICTORIA'S most reported species was the western blue groper (Achoerodus gouldii). It's a common species along Australia's southern coasts - but Redmap would like to see if it is moving south; and further into Victoria's eastern waters (Photo: Jarrod Boord).
SOUTH AUSTRALIA's 'most sighted' species was the giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama), which is a Redmap species of interest. Giant cuttlefish occur across southern Australia but aggregate to breed near Point Lowly, in the Spencer Gulf, SA. This is the only known breeding aggregation in the world for this species. Numbers have declined in recent years and scientists are not sure why. We need more sightings to assess its distribution (Photo: Andy Burnell).
Top 3 Redmap Sightings
The most-reported Redmap species, both in and out of their usual home range, for each state were:*
1. Barramundi (Lates calcarifer)
(more community data is needed from QLD fishers and divers!)
* to 31 March 2015
Who reported these sightings?
Some 56 per cent of Redmap sightings were logged by divers, followed by fishers (33%), beachcombers (7%) and the rest by boaters and swimmers, as shown in the chart below:
Which state reported the most sightings?
Tasmanians logged the most sightings! This makes sense for two reasons. First, sightings have been collected in Tasmania over a longer period of time: the project began in the southern state in 2009 and only went national in 2012. Second, Tasmania's east coast is an ocean warming "hotspot", with seas warming at three to four times the global average. Tasmania is experiencing more obvious changes in the distribution of marine life as more species extend their ranges south in search of their preferred climate.
Redmap members in New South Wales and Western Australia followed in the sightings numbers, as shown below:
What does the data mean?
Over time, the community's marine observations will help scientists track which species are shifting into new regions in response to changes in the marine environment such as ocean warming. This information is important to prepare recreational and commercial fishers for potential changes in the number and types of fish they will catch in the near-future.
Redmap scientists can't monitor Australia's vast coastline without your help - so keep logging sightings of uncommon marine life on the REDMAP app and website!