To the Collection Manager of the fourth largest type collection of fishes in the world, Sydney Harbour "is a marine jewel."
The Australian Museum Ichthyology collection contains over 13,000 type specimens* and is beaten in size only by the Smithsonian in Washington and the Natural History Museums of London and Paris.
Mark McGrouther is the scientist in charge of this priceless collection.
"We are documenting Australian’s fish fauna. We are documenting what occurs in our country. And without documentation how can you manage? There is on average about one species discovered every week in Australia so our fauna is still really growing."
"Sydney Harbour is, well, I like to describe it as a marine jewel. It really is extraordinary, there is nearly 600 species recorded from the harbour. And when you compare that with the Mediterranean, it has more species! It has more species that all north-western Europe combined. So we are sitting on a fish goldmine."
*Type specimens are the specimens on which the description and name of a new species is based. More here.