Thursday, 5 June 2014

Commemorating World Oceans Day – not just clowning around

Thane Militz of James Cook University must have one of the prettiest subjects in the world to study for his PhD: clownfish (of ‘Finding Nemo’ fame) from the crystal-clear tropical waters of Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Spectacular clownfish in Papua New Guinea

His thesis is on enhancing culture techniques for marine ornamental fishes to sustainably supply the aquarium trade. It forms part of a larger ACIAR project on mariculture development in New Ireland Province within PNG.

While Thane’s work is largely focused on clownfish, other components of the project are looking at coral propagation and giant clam culture. The research aims to improve the livelihoods of PNG communities by promoting a long-term, sustainable aquarium industry.

Thane has created a fantastic Facebook page for the project, full of spectacular photos of vividly colourful, wild and wonderful reef species involved in the research. He has invited fellow reef aquarium hobbyists, scientists and others to follow this page as the research unfolds. It’s well worth a look.

Thane in his element!
June 8 is World Oceans Day. This year’s theme is “Together we have the power to protect the ocean!”

Through contributing to sustainable marine aquarium exports, this research is certainly doing its bit to protect and preserve our precious ocean resources.

By Dr Wendy Henderson, ACIAR Communications
(Photos provided by Thane Militz)

More information:
ACIAR project FIS/2010/054 Mariculture development in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea is being led by James Cook University. Collaborating institutions are: National Fisheries Authority (Papua New Guinea), University of Natural Resources and Environment (Papua New Guinea) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Fiji).

ACIAR Fisheries Program
ACIAR fisheries blog - Mabe, baby: Commemorating World Oceans Day (2013)

ACIAR is also sponsoring the current World Aquaculture Conference in Adelaide (7-11 June)

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