What our fish collection holds

Our Australian National Fish Collection contains mostly marine species, particularly deepwater fishes and sharks and rays from Australia, Antarctica and the Indo-Pacific region.

Since its foundation in 1943, our collection has grown to house more than 151,000 fish specimens representing some 3,400 species.

CSIRO's John Pagonoski capturing data from a digital radiograph

We currently hold over 200 holotypes (primary type specimens) and nearly 1,700 paratypes (supplementary type specimens) for more than 350 species.

Specimen types are used in the original scientific description of a new species and are our most important specimens.

The collection also houses more than:

  • 65,000 images of fishes
  • 11,000 x-rays
  • 16,000 tissues for genetic analyses.

We are located at CSIRO's Hobart site, which is the headquarters for the organisation's marine research and the home port of our Marine National Facility.

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