Spotlight on red handfish at our IMAS gallery

The critically endangered Red handfish* is only found in Tasmania, in two small patches of rocky reef in Fredrick Henry Bay, southeast of Hobart. But there are only an estimated 100 individuals left in the wild.

Habitat loss, pollution and siltation, coastal development, human disturbance from boating and diving, introduced species and climate change are just some of the threats they face.

In our new exhibition, you'll discover more about this quirky fish and how the Handfish Conservation Project team is working with citizen scientists and others to save it.

The future of the world’s rarest fish is in our hands...

*Please note that we can't have live handfish juveniles on permanent display as they are sensitive creatures and require special care. 

Where: IMAS exhibition space, 20 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point, Tasmania 7004

When: 3 May - 12 August 2022.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm. Due to COVID-safe requirements, we are unable to welcome walk-in visitors to our exhibition, so please book your visit.

Bookings: You can book your visit here when we open (especially for group bookings) or at the front entrance to IMAS using the QR code.

Please note: All visitors must comply with the following COVID-safe requirements before entry:

  • Show proof of COVID-19 double vaccination
  • Sign in and undergo a temperature check
  • Wear a mask at all times


  • Top: Red handfish Thymichthys politus is a small critically endangered species of anglerfish, usually about 8cm long and varying in colour from bright red to light pink or brown (Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith, Reef Life Survey)
  • Bottom: During Spring, the female wraps her eggs around the base of seaweed or seagrass, and the male fertilises them. She will guard them for the next 6-8 weeks, until they hatch as perfect miniature handfish, no bigger than a grain of rice (Photo: Antonia Cooper, Reef Life Survey)
Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
9 May, 2022