Just 2 months ago, Bob Ward took a grueling, 27-hour flight from his hometown in Tasmania, to visit his good friend Paul Hebert in Guelph, Ontario. But rather than bringing his host a souvenir jar of Vegemite sandwich spread or a bottle of fine Australian merlot, Ward arrived toting more unusual cargo. Stored securely within his checked luggage were 940 slices of fish muscle. Each sample, no larger than the head of a pin, had been taken from a different fish species native to Australian waters and carefully packed with a few drops of preservative in a small vial. Altogether, the collection was only the size of a laptop computer, but it represented about 1 percent of the world's fish species.