Fishes of Australia

A large ship with a bright blue hull and bright green strip along the side from halfway along its length.

The RV Investigator provides Australia with an impressive multi-disciplinary marine research capability.

Fish are a significant economic, cultural and social resource for Australia, valued at over $3 billion dollars annually.1

Many fish are culturally significant to Indigenous Australians.

Fish are also used as bioindicators for broader ecosystem condition and function.

Fish are the most common target for eDNA studies, however, typically only 50% of fish eDNA sequences can be assigned to a species because of the incompleteness of DNA barcode libraries.2

This limits the potential to use eDNA for fast and accurate monitoring of fish populations, environmental impacts and Australia’s the marine conservation estate.

What difference would a complete DNA barcode library make?

  • Accurate, fast, comprehensive DNA-based biomonitoring and assessment of Australia’s marine resources.
  • Reliable species identifications and biomonitoring datasets based on authoritative DNA reference sequences.
  • Fewer false positive or false negative detections of important species.

Benefits for Australia

  • Cost-effective monitoring of fish stocks.
  • Responsive management strategies to changes in fish populations and environmental health.


  1. Patterson, H., Larcombe, J., Woodhams, J. & Curtotti, R. Fishery Status Reports 2020. (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra, 2020).
  2. Stat, M. Personal communication, Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle, (2021).