Otolith collection

Cross-section of a bluefish (Girella cyanea) otolith

The Wild Fisheries program of the NSW Department of Primary Industries maintains an archived collection of otoliths of NSW estuarine and oceanic fish species.

The collection is housed at the Fisheries NSW office within the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Mosman.

The collection contains:

Over 100,000 whole and sectioned otoliths. The collection represents a record of fish ages from the early 1990s and provides information for more than 30 species.

More detailed information on the collection

Historical information is available for the following species:

  • Black & Yellowfin bream
  • Blue mackerel
  • Dusky flathead
  • Estuary catfish
  • Freshwater eels
  • Gemfish
  • Grey morwong
  • Flat-tail mullet
  • Luderick
  • Maori wrasse
  • Mulloway
  • Ocean perch
  • Pearl perch
  • Pigfish
  • Pike
  • Red rockcod
  • River garfish
  • Sand mullet
  • Sand whiting
  • Sea garfish
  • Sea mullet
  • Silver biddies
  • Silver sweep
  • Silver trevally
  • Snapper
  • Snub-nosed garfish
  • Tarwhine
  • Tiger flathead
  • Trumpeter whiting
  • Yellowtail kingfish
  • Yellowtail scad

Current research projects are collecting data for:

  • Grey morwong
  • Mulloway
  • Sea garfish
  • Sea mullet
  • Snapper


Loans of material (sections or whole otoliths) from the collection for genuine scientific or educational purposes can be obtained through writing to the Program: john.stewart@dpi.nsw.gov.au