Integrated Publishing Toolkit(IPT)

free and open access to biodiversity data

Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) - GPS Underwater Visual Census - 2014-2018 repeated population surveys

Latest version published by CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere on Jul 16, 2020 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Dive surveys were conducted in 2014 and the same sites resurveyed annually until 2018, to establish a baseline and monitor the status of the critically endangered spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) population. This dataset is a summary of all surveys season 2014 to 2018 in which the 11 sites across the Derwent Estuary and D'Entrecasteaux Channel were assessed. The data describes the search effort (transect length, swathed area) and counts of handfish observed on each transect, including size measurements (total length) and depth records for each sighted fish.

Note that the specific latitude and longitude of individual fish have been redacted due to the vulnerable status of the species. Contact the point of contact listed in this record for more information.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 641 records. 1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

  • Occurrence (core)
  • ExtendedMeasurementOrFact 

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 641 records in English (25 KB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (9 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (9 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Link to originating metadata record.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 87f387c3-cebd-43dc-9f88-c0ffab09766f.  CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Atlas of Living Australia.


Occurrence; Observation


Who created the resource:

Tim Lynch
Principal Investigator
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere GPO Box 1538 7001 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Tim Lynch
Principal Investigator
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere GPO Box 1538 7001 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who filled in the metadata:

Tim Lynch
Principal Investigator
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere GPO Box 1538 7001 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who else was associated with the resource:

Dave Watts
OBIS Australia Node Manager
CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere PO Box 1538 7001 Hobart Tasmania +61 3 6232 5062

Geographic Coverage

Nine sites are within the Derwent Estuary and two are in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

Bounding Coordinates South West [-43.302, 147.082], North East [-42.875, 147.445]

Taxonomic Coverage

No Description available

Species  Brachionichthys hirsutus (Spotted handfish)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2014-02-28 / 2018-08-29

Sampling Methods

Data were collected using a variable length, GPS tracked underwater visual census method. Divers swam abreast approximately 0.5m-1m above the sediment to search for fish while towing a surface float with GPS housed onboard. The GPS tracked the position of the divers in real time and allowed extraction of spatial data post-hoc to determine searched distance to parameterise each transect. When B. hirsutus were located along the transect a series of photographs were taken to record the time of the sighting for cross-referencing with GPS spatial logs to determine the location of each sighting. The total length of each fish was measured to the nearest millimetre using a ruler placed laterally adjacent to the fish.

Study Extent Population surveys of spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) were conducted during the non-breeding season (March – August) of 2015 and 2016. Surveys were conducted at 9 different location within the Derwent Estuary and 2 additional locations in D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

Method step description:

  1. Repeat photos allowed georeferencing to the floating GPS unit

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Wong LSC, Lynch TP, Barrett NS, Wright JT, Green MA, Flynn DJH (2018) Local densities and habitat preference of the critically endangered spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus): Large scale field trial of GPS parameterised underwater visual census and diver attached camera. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0201518. 10.1371/journal.pone.0201518

Additional Metadata

marine, harvested by OBIS Original data contains accurate positions of the handfish, related environment data and images. Please consult with the custodian.

Alternative Identifiers 87f387c3-cebd-43dc-9f88-c0ffab09766f