Touch is without a doubt one of the most family friendly sports. You can play mixed, you can play with your friends and you can even play with your kids. But this isn’t only restricted to the players of our great game. Today, at the 2005 Seniors National Touch League, Sharon and Garry `Bear’ Foster got to run out onto field four not only as fellow referees but as husband and wife. Sharon, a former player, got involved in the refereeing side of Touch when she met Garry in a bank. “He saw me in the bank, you could say he stalked me,” laughed Sharon. And as they say…the rest is history, they will be married for 18 years on Monday. They’re used to spending their wedding anniversary in Coffs Harbour at the NTL as they have for the last six years. Their kids Lachlan, 15 and Larissa, 11 don’t share their parent’s passion for refereeing however. “They hate it,” said Sharon simply. “Probably from spending so many years at Touch, you could say they were Touch orphans,” said Garry. The Foster’s enjoyed the chance to referee together at this year’s NTL as Garry is a level four and Sharon is a level 6 referee so it’s not something they get to do often. “It was good today, I enjoyed it, I made him look good,” teased Sharon. No doubt their experience and passion will encourage the other referees at the 2005 NTL and will continue to help with their growth and development for many years to come. By Lisa Plummer
Experimental study on the effect of diet on fatty acid and stable isotope profiles of the squid Lolliguncula brevis
Fatty acid and stable isotope analyses have previously been used to investigate foraging patterns of fish, birds, marine mammals and most recently cephalopod species. To evaluate the application of these methods for dietary studies in squid, it is important to understand the degree to which fatty acid and stable isotope signatures of prey species are reflected in the squids’ tissue. Four groups of Lolliguncula brevis were fed on prey species with distinctly different fatty acid and stable isotope profiles over 30 consecutive days. One group of squid were fed fish for fifteen days, followed by crustaceans for a further fifteen days. A second and third group were fed exclusively on fish or crustaceans for thirty days. And a fourth group was fed on a mixture of fish and crustaceans for thirty days. Analysis of squid tissue showed that, after 10 days of feeding, fatty acid profiles of squid tended to reflect those of their prey. Squid that fed on a single prey type, i.e. fish or crustacean, showed only minor modifications in fatty acid proportions after the initial change and fatty acid profiles were clearly distinguishable between the two feeding groups. Shifts in fatty acid proportions towards respective prey profiles could clearly be observed in squid the diet of which was swapped after 15 days. Clear differences could also be seen in fatty acid profiles of squid feeding on a mixed diet with trends towards either fish or crustacean fatty acid signatures. Stable isotope signatures of squid tissues clearly distinguished between animals feeding on different diets and supported findings from fatty acid analysis, thus indicating both methods to be viable tools in feeding studies on squid species.