BIO403 Fish Ecology and Conservation (8)

Fish are the most diverse group of vertebrates on earth. In this subject students will gain in-depth knowledge about the global biodiversity and conservation of fishes. Students will learn fundamental principles of fish biology, ecology and evolution and how this knowledge can be used in conservation management. Students will gain experience in field and laboratory sampling techniques for fish and the analysis of data. Students complete this subject with an in-depth understanding of fish biodiversity and the links to ecosystems, fisheries and people.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Online *
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BIO403. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

A core subject for Graduate Certificate in Fish Conservation and Management

An elective subject for Bachelor of Environmental Science & Management, Bachelor of Environmental Science (specialisations), and Master of Environmental Management

Open for enrolment for other courses with agreement of Course Director such as BGeneral Studies(Sc), BScience, BAnimal Science.

Assumed Knowledge
  • BIO112 Principles of Ecology (or equivalent)
  • Ability to solve basic mathematical formulas/equations and use computer spreadsheets to manage data

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of fish biodiversity and how it is globally distributed;
  • be able to analyse the threats to fish biodiversity and the fundamental concepts that underpin conservation approaches;
  • be able to identify and explain the ecological functions of major external and internal features of fish and how they vary among species and environments;
  • be able to assess and apply a range of field and laboratory methods to safely sample fish;
  • be able to apply animal welfare principles to humanely handle and study fish; and
  • be able to integrate communication and critical thinking skills needed to explore, interpret and present basic fish ecology data.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Ichthyology
  • Conservation biogeography and macroecology
  • Comparative anatomy and conservation physiology
  • Trophic ecology and energetics
  • Community and population ecology
  • Fisheries science and management
  • Fish welfare and behaviour
  • Life-history
  • Fish sampling and assessment methods

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

Field and laboratory training at the residential school will provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge required for sample collection, fish identification and measurement, safe operating of equipment and humane handling of fish. Computer-based analyses will provide students with basic quantitative skills training to describe and analyse fish biodiversity data.

Special Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which may involve travel and accommodation expenses.  Students will also be required to purchase a lab coat and safety goggles which are compulsory for lab-based practicals

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.