Cuttlefish surveys increased
With the help of local divers, Whyalla’s Giant Australian Cuttlefish population is now being regularly monitored throughout the spawning period.
Each year from late May to early July when the cuttlefish congregate to breed, divers will visit more than 10 sites around the Lowly Peninsula to lay transects and collect data.
The citizen science project, in partnership with South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), is allowing for a more comprehensive data collection on the movements, numbers and size of cuttlefish.
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula coast and marine officer Kate Brocklehurst said the surveys would aid in the protection of shrinking cuttlefish numbers.
Last weekend the group surveyed the False Bay site in wet and windy conditions with data collected on 38 small to medium cuttlefish.
Local diver and cuttlefish enthusiast Tony Bramley said the group was hoping to expand its numbers to get a wider net of data and collect as much information as possible.
"We really appreciate the help of the volunteers we had today and hope to entice other divers to help so we can do more to help this great cause," Mr Bramley said.
Aspiring marine biologist Georgina Wilson said the protection of this unique and iconic Whyalla marine life was important and something she was more than happy to be part of.
“This is a great learning experience for me as well as an opportunity to help this great species that we are so lucky to have,” Ms Wilson said.
For more information on joining the cuttlefish survey team call Kate on 0488 000 481 or contact the Whyalla Dive Shop.