Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Critically Endangered
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brachionichthys hirsutus (Spotted Handfish) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012bw) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Brachionichthys hirsutus (Spotted Handfish) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012bx) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery Plan for four species of handfish (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2005v) [Recovery Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.4 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011i) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (123) (20/09/2012) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012f) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Spotted Handfish (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (TAS DIPWE), 2009w) [Internet].
TAS:Brachionichthys hirsutus (Spotted Handfish, Spotted-hand Fish): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014sl) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Critically Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Brachionichthys hirsutus [64418]
Family Brachionichthyidae:Lophiiformes:Actinopterygii:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Lacepede, 1804)
Infraspecies author  
Reference Last, P.R. & Gledhill, D.C. 2009. A revision of the Australian handfishes (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae), with descriptions of three new genera and nine new species. Zootaxa 2252: 15-19
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Spotted-Handfish-Brachionichthys-hirsutus-Lacepede-1804

The species has previously been known as Lophius hirsutus and Chironectes punctatus (AFD 2010).

Spotted Handfish are small, colourful, slow moving benthic (sea-floor dwelling) fish that are easily approached and photographed. Adults are typically 70–90 mm TL (Last et al. 2007) and grow to a maximum size of 143 mm (Last & Gledhill 2009). They use their illicium (modified dorsal fin ray) to attract food (Edgar et al. 1982) and to probe egg masses (DEH 2005u), sometimes extending and resting it on the seafloor (Bruce et al. 1998).

The species has a relatively short, rounded body that tapers towards the tail (Last et al. 1983). The body is covered with tiny spines (Last et al. 1983). The upper surface and sides of the head and body are white or pale pink, and they are covered with numerous orange, brown or black spots that have orange borders (Last et al. 1983). The density of spots varies between individuals (Edgar et al.1982).

The markings on Spotted Handfish are unique so it is possible to identify individuals within populations (Bruce et al. 1997). Individual patterns of spots do not change with season, substrate type or behaviour although some changes in pattern can be observed over time as individuals grow (i.e. larger spots may break in two) (Bruce et al. 1999).

Spotted Handfish are endemic to south-east Tasmania. They are currently known only from the lower Derwent Estuary, despite previous recordings at Fredrick Henry Bay, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and the northern regions of Storm Bay (Bruce et al. 1998).

Historically the species ranged over the eastern coast of Tasmania, having been collected from the Huon Estuary in the 1940s and from the Bass Strait (near Cape Portland) as recently as the 1970s (Last & Gledhill 2009). This species was once common throughout the lower Derwent estuary and adjoining bays prior to the mid-1980s and was identified as suffering from a serious decline in distribution and abundance by the late 1990s (Bruce et al. 1999).

Surveys indicate that the majority of Spotted Handfish now persist as small fragmented populations within the historic range of the species (Last & Gledhill 2009). An apparently healthy population was once present in Great Oyster Bay on the east coast but specimens have not been recorded from this area since the 1950s (Last & Gledhill 2009). Similarly, at Primrose Sands (Fredrick Henry Bay) a small area of 0.3 km2 was occupied by several hundred spotted handfish in 1999 (Gledhill and Green, unpublished) but no handfish were located during surveys in 2005 (Green 2005). Surveys undertaken in the Derwent Estuary and D’Entrecasteaux Channel region since this time have located very few spotted handfish (Edgar 2010 pers. comm. cited in TSSC 2012bw).

Within the Derwent estuary, the total known area within which Spotted Handfish may be found (as of 2002) is approximately 3 km2, with most mature fish being found within an area of 0.6 km2 (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). In Frederick Henry Bay the area of occupancy of the population was estimated at 0.3 km2 (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002) occupied by several hundred Spotted Handfish in 1999 (Green & Bruce 2000), but no handfish were located during surveys in 2005 (Green 2005).

In the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, the Spotted Handfish had a very restricted and patchy distribution, low population density, limited dispersal capabilities and a reproductive strategy of producing low numbers of demersal eggs that are susceptible to disturbance (Bruce & Green 1998).

Barrett et al. (1996) conducted a survey in 1996 and failed to locate Spotted Handfish in most of the locations where the species was historically common. However, surveys of a site in the lower Derwent estuary in spring of 2002 suggested that the population of adults had recovered to those originally observed in the spring of 1998 (Green pers. comm. 13 July 2004). This population was found to have dropped to <25% of the numbers reported in autumn 2001, however juveniles were found to be abundant. This was attributed to the installation of artificial spawning substrate (small plastic rods) before the 1999 breeding season (Green pers. comm. 13 July 2004).

There are nine known areas in the lower Derwent Estuary (seaward of the Tasman Bridge) where Spotted Handfish have been found and surveyed (Green 2005; Green 2007a, Green 2009a). Analysis of survey data suggests a total abundance of 1500–2700 adult Spotted Handfish (Green 2009b). The calculated density of fish at a location in Frederick Henry Bay during spring 1999 was about 45 per hectare (Green & Bruce 2000; Green 2005), which would have represented an estimated abundance of 180–250 adult handfish (Green 2007b); this highly restricted population underwent local extinction sometime between 1999 and 2005 (Green 2005) leaving the Derwent Estuary populations as the only confirmed remnants of this species. A reliable report was made with a photograph of a single specimen at a location in North West Bay, at the northern end of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel (DEH 2005u), but the presence of a viable population has not been verified.

The Spotted Handfish was common throughout the lower Derwent estuary and adjoining bays prior to the mid 1980s, but has suffered a decline in distribution and abundance (Pogonoski et al. 2002). Anecdotal reports (cited in Bruce et al. 1999) from the late 1990s, suggest that the population around the Hobart region declined relatively rapidly in the 1980s. This decline appears to have coincided with the introduction of the Northern Pacific seastar (Bruce et al. 1999). This species is believed to have been introduced in the 1970s or early 1980s as larvae in ballast water, or as juvenile or adult seastars on the hulls of international ships (CSIRO 1998). As of the most recent information, from the late 1990s, the exact cause of the decline in Spotted Handfish populations was not fully understood (Bruce et al 1999).

The age structures of the three known colonies were assessed during surveys undertaken from 1998 to 2001 (Green & Bruce 2002). At one of the two sites in the lower Derwent estuary, the number of adult Spotted Handfish (those greater than 71 mm in length) had declined over this period (Green & Bruce 2002). At another site in the lower Derwent estuary, a three-fold increase in mature fish was observed in spring 1999 (Green & Bruce 2002). The reason for this increase is unknown but it is considered likely that fish may have moved into the area to breed (Green & Bruce 2002).

Determining the age structure of the population at the site at Frederick Henry Bay is difficult as a significant proportion of the Spotted Handfish observed there were greater than 100 mm in length (Green & Bruce 2002). The criteria used to estimate age at the Derwent estuary sites therefore may not be directly transferable to this site. The number of mature fish observed at this site (those greater than 71 mm) doubled in spring 2000 (Green & Bruce 2002). This increase was attributed to fish moving into the area to breed (Green & Bruce 2002). However, comparatively few immature fish (less than 71 mm) were found at this site in spring 2000, despite the presence of available spawning substrate at this site (Green & Bruce 2002). The small immature population observed at this site during this survey is attributed to the exposure of this site to weather which can dislodge or damage egg masses and reduce hatchling production (Green & Bruce 2002).

 

This species occurs in benthic (seafloor) environments in association with coarse to fine sand and shell grit or silt (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). The species was recorded from depths between 2 - 30 meters in 2002, but observations around this time suggested that they are most common in 5 - 10 meters (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002).

Spotted Handfish are often found in shallow, shell-filled depressions or near rocks of low relief projecting from the substrate (Bruce et al. 1998). Unspoilt shallow, benthic, sandy habitats with suitable spawning substrates (e.g. primarily stalked ascidians Sycozoa sp., but also sponges, and seagrasses) are believed to be critical to the survival of this species (Pogonoski et al. 2002).


Availability of suitable spawning substrate appears to be critical to the reproduction capacity of Spotted Handfish. Due to their limited distribution and observed decline, all of the areas within which Spotted Handfish are found are considered important habitat.

The longevity of Spotted Handfish is still yet to be determined (Bruce et al. 1999), however there was some information made available on growth rate in the early 2000s. Spotted Handfish in the Derwent estuary at two years old are approximately 70 mm in length (Green & Bruce 2001). In their third year of growth, specimens attain a further 5 - 10 mm in length, and approximately 2 mm every year thereafter (Green & Bruce 2001). This suggests that when Spotted Handfish in the Derwent estuary are 100 mm long, they are 12 - 16 years of age (Green & Bruce 2001). However, most of the Spotted Handfish found at sites surveyed in the Derwent estuary are 81 - 90 mm in length, making them between 4 - 10 years of age (Green & Bruce 2001).

The relative age and growth of Spotted Handfish obtained at one key site, Frederick Henry Bay, in the early 2000s has made it difficult to draw conclusions about the lifespan of the species generally. At this site, the Spotted Handfish appeared to grow larger and faster than at Derwent estuary sites (Green and Bruce 2001). One specimen observed three times in 12 months had grown from 60 to 93 mm, which far exceeds growth rates observed at sites in the Derwent estuary (Green & Bruce 2001). The reasons for this are unclear and more data on the growth of Spotted Handfish at this site needs to be collected (Green and Bruce 2001).

Growth rates of females suggest that maturity is reached at 2 to 3 years of age, at a size of 75 - 80 mm in length (Bruce et al.1999). Size of males at maturity was yet to be determined in the late 1990s, however the smallest male to fertilize eggs in captivity was 87 mm long (Bruce et al. 1999).

Spotted Handfish have a low breeding capacity. Surveys conducted in the late 1990s concluded that the female lays 80 - 200 eggs that are held together in a vertical structure by threads (Last & Bruce 1996–97). In 2002 the species' was found to attach their eggs to small, vertical, semi-rigid structures on the sea floor (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). This included stalked ascidians (Sycozoasp.), seagrasses, sponges, small macrophytic algae and polychaete worm tubes (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002).

Spawning was found to generally occur from September to October, during early spring (Pogonoski et al. 2002; Last & Bruce 1996–97). In the late 1990s Spotted Handfish in aquaria were observed performing what appears to be courtship behaviour prior to spawning (Bruce et al. 1997). After laying the egg mass, the female guards the eggs for 6–7 weeks until they hatch (Bruce 1998). Eggs were approximately 4 mm in diameter and are contained in 'flasks' that are inter-connected in a single mass by fine tubules (Last & Bruce 1996–97). Eggs observed in aquaria began hatching 51 days after spawning and had finished hatching 57 days after spawning (Bruce et al. 1997). The Spotted Handfish was not found to have a pelagic larval phase in 2002, the eggs hatching into fully formed juveniles (Pogonoski et al. 2002). Hatchlings were observed settling in the immediate area surrounding the location of the egg mass in the late 1990s (Bruce et al. 1997).

Key biological attributes for this species include (DEH 2005u):

  • they move by using their hands-like fins to crawl across the bottom
  • they depend upon vertical structures for spawning substrate
  • they have a low rate of dispersal
  • females remain with eggs until hatching
  • when eggs hatch, fully formed young emerge.

A study conducted in the late 1990s found that the species' diet was found to include small crustaceans, polychaete worms (Bruce et al. 1998) and small shells (Kuiter 1996). In addition, stomachs of two small, wild juveniles contained amphipods (Bruce et al. 1997).

Migration rates of Spotted Handfish between the Ralphs Bay population and other populations in the Derwent Estuary is likely to be low (Green 2005). There is some thought that the Ralphs Bay population of Spotted Handfish is genetically unique, given the apparent isolation of this population and the large size of specimens observed there (Aquenal Pty Ltd, 2008).

Anecdotal evidence from the early–mid 2000s suggests that some handfish species are more active at night, but the species are still likely to be seen and/or collected during the day (Green, M. June 2003, pers. comm. cited in AMBS 2004). Spotted Handfish breed in Spring (September to November). There were some indications in the early 2000s that during breeding time Spotted Handfish are more abundant in areas where there is spawning substrate. This information is, however, of limited use if their precise localities are unknown (assuming that the precise locations are small) (Green, M. June 2003, pers. comm. cited in AMBS 2004).

There are at least six Handfishes that occur in south-eastern Australia, most of which were known to be confined to Tasmanian waters in the early part of the 21st century. However, only a few experts at CSIRO (Hobart) understood the taxonomy of these species and could correctly identify them in the field (Green, M. June 2003, pers. comm. cited in AMBS 2004).

Visual census techniques are non-destructive and during the early 2000s (Green, M. June 2003, pers. comm. cited in AMBS 2004) were the most appropriate method for the detection of handfishes in depths within safe SCUBA diving range (i.e. to approx. 40 m). Given that Spotted Handfish are rare and cryptic in nature, an estimated six hours of searching at each site was also recommended. A minimum team of three persons was recommended (one boat person and two divers) (Green, M. June 2003, pers. comm. cited in AMBS 2004).

There are survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish that include survey protocol for detecting fish listed under the EPBC Act. This document contains information relevant to the surveying of Spotted Handish (DSEWPaC 2011i).

The cause of the reported decline of the Spotted Handfish was still undetermined in the early 2000s and no further research has been undertaken since. Key threats to handfish habitat, and specifically spawning substrate include (DEH 2005u):

  • introduced species such as the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), which has depleted spawning substrate used but the Spotted Handfish in the Derwent estuary
  • pollution from industrial storm water and sewage that may deplete spawning substrate
  • siltation of key estuarine habitat caused by land clearing
  • coastal developments, particularly those that involve dredging, as the Spotted Handfish lives in shallow coastal environments in close proximity to major urban and industrial areas.

Loss of Benthic Organisms

The principle threat to Spotted Handfish appeared to be reduced abundance and distribution of benthic organisms suitable for egg mass attachment (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). This reduction in abundance and distribution of suitable spawning substrate was found to limit the reproductive success of Spotted Handfish (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). The reasons for this reduction in spawning substrate were not entirely clear (Bruce at al. 1999; Green and Bruce 2001). Suggested causes, at the time, included the cumulative impact of pollution from industrial, storm-water and human effluent sources; heavy metal contamination of sediments; increasing siltation caused by land clearing; and the introduction of the Northern Pacific seastar (Bruce et al. 1999; Green and Bruce 2001;Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002).

Northern Pacific Seastar

Whilst the decline of the Spotted Handfish at sites in the Derwent estuary is not fully understood, it was found to have coincided with the discovery of and increase in abundance of the Northern Pacific seastar (Bruce et al. 1999). In the late 1990s to early 2000s the Northern Pacific seastar was abundant in areas where Spotted Handfish were once common. The primary impact of the Northern Pacific seastar on handfish colonies appeared to be caused by its predation on spawning substrate, such as stalked ascidians (Bruce & Green 1999).

Oysters

Another threat observed at a site in the Derwent estuary in the early 2000s was a high abundance of a fast growing oyster (Electroma georgiana) that attaches to Spotted Handfish egg masses. The proliferation of this oyster, at this site, 'may have affected the recruitment of Spotted Handfish by smothering egg masses, hindering development and hatching of emerging fish or by smothering sediments and restricting access of small juvenile fish to benthic prey' (Green and Bruce 2000).

Loss of Seagrass and Algae

At the Frederick Henry Bay site during the early 2000s, storms during the breeding season of the Spotted Handfish over successive years could have threatened the population (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). This is because seagrass forms a part of the primary spawning substrate at this site and is susceptible to storm damage. Apart from seagrass and algae being important for the reproduction of the Spotted Handfish, they also provide habitat for invertebrates upon which Spotted Handfish prey (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). Decreasing areas of seagrass and algae were thought to be likely to impact food availability for Spotted Handfish populations.

Fishing Practices

Historically scallop dredging and Danish seine fishing have occurred in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, at Frederick Henry Bay and at Storm Bay (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). However, there has been no commercial or recreational scallop dredging in the 'Entrecasteaux Channel, Frederick Henry Bay or Storm Bay since the late 1980s and there has not been any Danish Seine fishing in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel or Frederick Henry Bay since at least 1995 (Pullen pers. comm. 2005). By 2002, fishing practices were thought to have decreased the area of important habitat to Spotted Handfish having previously caused population declines in these areas (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). Apart from these fishing practices, any form of fishing that degrades the benthic habitat of the Spotted Handfish was considered to pose a threat to the species (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002).

 

The following information on work to address threats to Spotted Handfish taken from the Issues Paper for Four Species of Handfish (DEH 2005u).

Collection

Collection of Spotted Handfish is an offence in Tasmania unless a permit has been issued under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995. However, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment have never issued a permit for the take of handfish other than for scientific research (Pullen pers. comm. 2005).

Captive breeding and release

Spotted Handfish were bred successfully in captivity in the late 1990s (Bruce et al. 1997). Spotted Handfish were initially bred in captivity in 1996, however all of the juveniles in that trial died within 29 days of hatching (Bruce et al. 1997). The cause of hatchling mortality was not fully understood but coincided with critical stages in the life history of the species (Bruce et al. 1997).

In 1997/98 eighteen juvenile Spotted Handfish were spawned, hatched and raised in captivity to an age of seven months (Green & Bruce 2000). These fish were hatched from two egg masses that totaled approximately 200 eggs (Green & Bruce 2000). The total survival rate from these egg masses was approximately 9% of spawned eggs and 34% of hatchlings (Green & Bruce 2000).

In 1998/1999, 158 (37%) of 423 hatchlings survived in captivity to an age of 6 months (Green & Bruce 2000). All of these handfish were tagged and the surviving 155 (three died after tagging) were released at the site from which their parents had been captured (Green & Bruce 2000). However, in surveys post October 1999 no sightings of these tagged handfish were made, which suggests high mortality post release (Green & Bruce 2001).

Artificial spawning substrate

The introduction of artificial spawning substrate was tested at two sites in the Derwent estuary in the late 1990s after trials in aquaria showed that Spotted Handfish would use plastic rods as spawning substrate (Green and Bruce 2000). These rods were buried in the sand to form vertical structures on the seafloor that Spotted Handfish may use as alternative spawning substrate to stalked ascidians (Green and Bruce 2001). During the breeding season at one of the two sites, 52 egg masses were observed attached to the artificial spawning substrates, with only two egg masses attached to stalked ascidians (Green and Bruce 2000). The artificial spawning substrate at the other site was not as successful, with most lost due to heavy weather (Green and Bruce 2000).

To further assess the capacity of artificial spawning substrate to increase spawning and reproductive success, it was deployed again in 1999 at a site in the lower Derwent estuary (Green and Bruce 2001). Of the 550 artificial spawning substrates deployed at the site in 1999, 420 remained in 2000 and 11 had been used for spawning (Green and Bruce 2001). The installation of artificial spawning substrate thus appears to increase spawning in areas where natural spawning substrate has become depleted. However, there are some problems with the use of artificial spawning substrate that may affect the rate of hatchling emergence (Bruce 1998), namely the growth of algae and the settlement of native oysters (on the artificial spawning substrate, which smothers egg masses); and the susceptibility of artificial spawning substrate to being washed away during storms (Bruce 1998).

Habitat rehabilitation and population surveys

In 2002, algae (Caulerpa sp.) was transplanted from Frederick Henry Bay to a site in the lower Derwent estuary at which spawning substrate was depleted (Green and Coughanowr 2003). These algae are used as spawning substrate at the Frederick Henry Bay, and initial results at the site in the lower Derwent estuary have also been encouraging (Green and Coughanowr 2003).

In 2004, a project to assess the abundance of the Northern Pacific seastar in order to quantify and restore spawning substrate and to conduct population surveys was funded through the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust. This project involves further transplantations of algae (Caulerpa sp.) to rehabilitate spawning substrate at a site in the Derwent estuary. Under this project, population surveys will also be conducted at previously surveyed sites and at an additional two sites in Frederick Henry Bay (Green pers. comm. 29 November 2004).

Fishing restrictions

Scallop dredging is no longer permitted in the range of the Spotted Handfish (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). Danish seine fishing is prohibited in the Derwent estuary and within one nautical mile of the shore (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002). In the mid-2000s, there was only one Danish seine fishing licence holder operating out of Hobart (Pullen pers. comm. 2005). Whilst these restrictions on Danish seine fishing provide some protection to known Spotted Handfish populations, Danish seine fishing still occurs within the historic range of Spotted Handfish (Spotted Handfish Recovery Team 2002).

Storm water management

Water quality in the Derwent estuary has improved over the last ten years (Coughanowr 1997). Local Councils bordering the Derwent estuary have conducted a number of storm water projects over the five year period from 1999 to 2004 (Tasmanian Government 2004). These projects have included the installation of gross pollutant traps, restoring wetlands and education programs (Tasmanian Government 2004). A review of the water quality of the Derwent estuary showed that between 1997 and 2003 there was general improvement, with reductions in faecal bacteria and heavy metal loads in the system (Green and Coughanowr 2003).

Reducing heavy metal contamination

The level of heavy metals measured in biota in the Derwent estuary has decreased since the 1970s (Dineen and Noller 1995). The Australian and Tasmanian Governments jointly funded a project in 2003 to identify the worst affected areas and how best to avoid further heavy metal contamination.

Management documents for the Spotted Handfish include:

  • Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001 (Bruce & Green, 1998).
  • Recovery Plan for Four Species of Handfish (DEH 2005v).
  • Issues Paper: Population status of an threats to four handfish species listed as threatened under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (DEH 2005u).
  • Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish (DSEWPaC 2011i).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Biological Resource Use:Fishing and Harvesting Aquatic Resources:Illegal take Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001: Progress Report, End of Year 2 (2000). Environment Australia, Canberra (Green, M.A. & B.D. Bruce, 2001) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification, destruction and alteration due to changes in land use patterns Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001: Progress Report, End of Year 2 (2000). Environment Australia, Canberra (Green, M.A. & B.D. Bruce, 2001) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001: Progress Report, End of Year 2 (2000). Environment Australia, Canberra (Green, M.A. & B.D. Bruce, 2001) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation caused by marine invertebrates Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001 (Bruce, B.D. & M.A. Green, 1998) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, grazing, predation and/or habitat degradation by rats Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001 (Bruce, B.D. & M.A. Green, 1998) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Psittacine Circoviral Disease Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001 (Bruce, B.D. & M.A. Green, 1998) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001: Progress Report, End of Year 2 (2000). Environment Australia, Canberra (Green, M.A. & B.D. Bruce, 2001) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001 (Bruce, B.D. & M.A. Green, 1998) [State Recovery Plan].
Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001: Progress Report, End of Year 2 (2000). Environment Australia, Canberra (Green, M.A. & B.D. Bruce, 2001) [Recovery Plan].

Aquenal Pty Ltd (2008). Marine and Estuarine Ecology Literature Review and Field Survey Program - Lauderdale Quay Proposal. Hobart.

Australian Faunal Directory (AFD) (2010). Australian Faunal Directory. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/home. [Accessed: 30-May-2010].

Australian Museum Business Services (AMBS) (2004). The Provision of Data for National Fauna Survey Standards: Non-flying Mammals Draft Report for the Department of the Environment and Heritage. Page(s) 248-250. East Sydney (NSW), AMBS.

Barrett, N., B.D. Bruce, & P.R. Last (1996). Spotted handfish survey. Report to Endangered Species Unit, ANCA. CSIRO Div. Fisheries, Hobart.

Bruce, B. (1998). 'Progress on Spotted Handfish Recovery', On the brink!. Threatened Species and Communities. 11:9.

Bruce, B.D. & M.A. Green (1998). Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001. [Online]. EA. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/spotted-handfish/index.html.

Bruce, B.D., M.A. Green & P.R. Last (1998). Threatened Fishes of the World: Brachionichthys hirsutus (Lacepede, 1804) (Brachionichthyidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes. 52:418.

Bruce, B.D., M.A. Green & P.R. Last (1999). Aspects of the biology of the endangered Spotted Handfish Brachionichthys hirsutus (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae) off southern Australia. In: Seret, B. & J.Y. Sire, eds. Proceedings of the 5th Indo Pacific Fish Conference, Noumea 1997. Page(s) 369-380. Societe Francaise d'Ichthyologie, Paris.

Bruce, B.D., M.A. Green &. P.R. Last (1997). Developing captive husbandry techniques for spotted handfish Brachionichtys hirsutus, and monitoring the 1996 spawning season. Page(s) 22pp. Repor to Endangered Species Unit, Env. Aust. CSIRO Div. Marine Research, Hobart.

Bruce, B.D., M.A.P. Green & P.R. Last (1997). Developing Husbandry Techniques for Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) and Monitoring the 1996 Spawning Season. Environment Australia, Canberra.

Coughanowr, C. (1997). State of the Derwent Estuary: A review of Environmental Quality Data to 1997.:130.

CSIRO (1998). The Northern Pacific Seastar: Information Sheet. [Online]. Available from: http://www.marine.csiro.au/LeafletsFolder/01npseastar.html.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011i). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.4 . [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement. Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-fish.html.

Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2005u). Issues Paper: Population status of an threats to four handfish species listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. [Online]. Canberra. Available from: http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/4-handfish/pubs/4-handfish-issues-paper.pdf.

Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2005v). Recovery Plan for four species of handfish. [Online]. Available from: http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/4-handfish/index.html.

Dinnen, R.D. & B. Noller (1995). Toxic Elements in Fish and Shellfish from the Derwent Estuary. Department of the Environment and Land, Hobart.

Edgar, G.J., P.R. Last & M.W. Wells (1982). Coastal Fishes of Tasmania and Bass Strait. Page(s) 176. Tasmanian Underwater Photographic Society.

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Green, M. (2004). Personal Communication- 13th July.

Green, M. (2004b). Personal Communication- 29th November.

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Green, M.A. & B.D. Bruce (2001). Spotted Handfish Recovery Plan 1999-2001: Progress Report, End of Year 2 (2000). Environment Australia, Canberra.

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Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2012bw). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brachionichthys hirsutus (Spotted Handfish). [Online]. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Canberra, ACT: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/64418-listing-advice.pdf.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Brachionichthys hirsutus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:41:23 +1000.