Queensland Coastal fish species

Written by: Letitia Murgha, Strategic Learning

This article continues the theme of early indigenous scientific knowledge which often centred around the collection of food. Most shell middens were created in ancient (pre-European contact) times and can provide valuable information about Aboriginal hunting and gathering practices.

For thousands of years, Aboriginal people caught and ate large numbers of shellfish species in and around the mangrove mud flats and coastal areas along the Queensland coast. Often they would cook the meat and use the shells for a number of different purposes, or dispose of the shells in large dump sites. These dump sites would normally be near where they were camped and eventually form what is called shell middens. Shell middens have provided important information and clues for researchers about the Aboriginal people and the environment they lived in. They tell the story of the Aboriginal peoples’ diet, food sources for that particular area, what species were available, the impact of biodiversity, environmental changes and marine ecosystems.

Different species of food sources found in shell middens include, mussels, oysters, clams, crabs, fish. These food sources were highly prized as today we know they contain valuable nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium and vitamins such as A and B. These would have been hunted and gathered according to the seasons and particularly when they were in abundance. The Aboriginal people would have known when the oysters were at their fattest, the crabs were at their heaviest, the mussels in abundance from reading the seasonal signs around them. This practice is still used today by many Aboriginal people.

Some of the species found included Geloina coaxan (Mud Clam), Nerita balteata (Lined Nerida), Telescopium Telescopium (Telescope Mud Creeper. Most of the food sources were collected during low tide as that was the time they were exposed in the mud or sand or attached to rocks and branches of the mangrove trees.

"Many fisheries are in trouble."

2010-02-16 13:22:52 by krizpy99

Worldwide, it is estimated that some 90 percent of species of large predatory fish are gone. Domestically, of 230 assessed U.S. fisheries, 54 stocks are classified as overfished, 45 are experiencing overfishing, and the status of just over half of the nation’s stocks are unknown. (See what Environmental Defense is doing to address the challenges.)
America's fishing communities are also suffering. The collapse of New England's cod fishery in the early 1990s cost an estimated 20,000 jobs. About 72,000 jobs have been lost because of dwindling salmon stocks in the Pacific Northwest alone

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