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The ANFC 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 160,000 fish specimens representing 3,700 species.

CSIRO's John Pogonoski capturing data from a digital radiograph. © 

Specimen types are used in the original scientific description of a new species and are our most important specimens. We currently hold over 240 holotypes (primary type specimens) and nearly 1,970 paratypes (supplementary type specimens) for more than 450 species.

The collection also houses more than:

  • 73,000 images of fishes
  • 12,500 x-rays
  • 21,000 tissues for genetic analyses.

Staff at ANFC examining and processing new fish specimens. ©

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.

Almost 3,200 fish specimens (at least 550 species) have been collected during the RV Investigator voyages and deposited into the ANFC since 2015. For example:

  • Great Australian Bight 2015 (voyage IN2015_C01) Deep water geological and benthic ecology, 93 specimens (at least 50 species)
  • Great Australian Bight 2015 (voyage IN2015_C02) Survey of deep-water habits and biodiversity, 349 specimens (at least 98 species)
  • Sampling the Abyss 2017 (IN2017_V03) First survey of deep-water life from abyssal depths along Australia’s eastern continental margin, 170 specimens (at least 48 species)
  • North West Shelf 2017 (IN2017_V05) Long-term recovery of trawled marine communities through a comparative survey of marine communities of the North West Shelf (Western Australia), 1 948 specimens (at least 324 species)

ANFC staff will be collecting specimens during two 2021 voyages:– IN2021_V04 - Biodiversity assessment of Australia's Indian Ocean Territories (Cocos-Keeling and Christmas Islands territories); and IN2021_V05 - Valuing Australia's new Gascoyne Marine Park

Interested in helping us further this research?

We seek research collaborators with complementary skills so we can work together for stronger results.

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