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Seaweek 2011: Spotlight on Marine Science

Marine Scientist Profile:

Who am I?
My name is Joshua Brown and I am a Fisheries Research Scientist who studies nearshore and estuarine fish species.

I work for and my work / research involves:
I work for the Department of Fisheries in Western Australia ( I am currently working on determining the stock status (i.e. whether they are in a healthy state or not) of some of our key nearshore fish species - Australian herring, tailor, garfish and whiting. This entails collecting representative samples from both recreational and commercial fishers and conducting biological analysis (length, sex, reproductive stage and age) of these fish. This data is then used to gain an indication of the current status of the fish stock in a given area.

How does my work relate to marine conservation?
The main ethos of the Department of Fisheries is to ensure there’s ‘fish for the future’. By closely monitoring the stock of these recreationally and commercially important species we are able to able to provide sound advice to fishery managers on how to best protect these fish for future generations to enjoy.

Things I like about my job:
I like the diversity of my job which involves working in the field, laboratory and in the office either analysing data or writing reports. Whilst working in the field I have seen some of the most beautiful parts of our country and the wonderful marine creatures that live in them.
Sometimes the work involves doing a lot of repetitive activities (measuring thousands of fish) but knowing that you are working towards the sustainable management of a marine resource helps me get through these tedious times.

What inspired you to consider a career in marine science?
My family use to go to on holidays to the Ningaloo reef (off Exmouth) each year and my Dad introduced me to the amazing underwater world, helping me identify each fish species we came across with the use of ‘Grants Guide to Fishes’. I have been hooked ever since.

Do you have a favourite marine creature (if so why)?
I have been fortunate to come across some really interesting and rare species with my work. However it is one of the more common species, King George whiting, that would have to be one of my favourite marine creatures. There is still so much more to learn about them.



Joshua Brown



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