Thursday, November 1, 2012

SACReD poster for the AMSA - SA Branch symposium on marine science in SA

SACReD (South Australian Conservation Research Divers) recently made this poster for the AMSA - SA Branch symposium on marine science in SA, showing the results of some of SACReD's invertebrate searches so far.  The AMSA symposium was held on 12th October at SARDI Aquatic Sciences (  (The Flinders Uni venue listed in this flyer  was not available.)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

AMSA Community Information Day

An AMSA Community Information Day (including National System information) is being held in SA on Wednesday 21st November 10am-4pm at the Stamford Grand Adelaide. The Information Day will include two presentations from senior AMSA officials.


Researchers have made a discovery that could protect the Great Barrier Reef’s coral sites from the crown of thorns starfish. A harmless protein mixture, used to grow bacteria in science labs, has been found to destroy the starfish in as little as 24 hours.


There was a media launch of Redmap Australia on 27th November 2012. Redmap invited Australia’s divers to report sightings of any marine species that are uncommon along particular parts of our coast. Redmap says that many species are undergoing range expansions or shifts in their distributional range. The Redmap site allows the local community to act as ‘citizen scientists’ and record scientific data by logging sightings of species that are caught or observed outside their usual or known range. Community participation in Redmap can create for individuals the sense (and in this case, the reality) that they are actively and constructively helping with a major issue currently facing the global community – people can log on and literally see ‘their’ data point on the map. For more information, visit the Redmap site at and sign up to receive a quarterly newsletter. Redmap is to be represented at OZTeK2013.


Many of you know that the famous Whyalla breeding aggregation of the giant Australian cuttlefish has declined dramatically in the last ten years, with an estimate of less than 10,000 showing up this winter (down from many hundreds of thousands in the late 1990s). There is no known cause but many theories and questions. One of many suggestions is that maybe the cuttlefish have moved elsewhere, but there are no reports of large numbers of cuttlefish during winter elsewhere in Spencer Gulf. And one of the many knowledge gaps around this extraordinary aggregation is where the cuttlefish go when they are not breeding at Point Lowly. Recent genetic studies suggest that the breeding aggregation is a distinct population in northern Spencer Gulf and almost certainly a separate species that does not appear to interbreed with cuttlefish further south. Therefore, the decline of the breeding aggregation could lead to the loss of an entire species even before it has been officially declared. You can help! Go here: to report any sightings of cuttlefish (or cuttlefish eggs) in northern Spencer Gulf (approximately anywhere north of Wallaroo). You will need to register to use the system, then go through the Field Guide to make your report. Please provide a photograph so that we can confirm your sighting and please zoom in to pinpoint your location on the map as accurately as possible. All report locations will be kept private, so if you have a favourite fishing spot it will not be public. Together we can help the cuttlefish!


Zoos SA recently sought some buoys for their rhino (at Monarto?) to play with. They said that it is hard to find things that the rhino can’t break and “big buoys do last a lot longer than most other toys!” The SDFSA was able to donate three “Hobart” buoys to the zoo for the rhino to play with. The zoo was appreciative of the assistance.


According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, Adelaide’s weather for November is “mostly warm, although cooler periods can still occur. The maximum exceeds 30° C on the 6 hottest days and the minimum falls below 10°C on the 6 coldest nights.” Winds on ½ of days exceed 15km/h at 9am & 17km/h at 3pm. The main directions is SW. This is the most common time of the year for thunderstorms to occur.

YouTube Video Bar

Check out the new YouTube Video Bar on my blog

Tell John West to stop using FADs

Check out

Greenpeace assesses tuna rands on a range of factors, but one of the most important things brands can do for our oceans is stop using fish aggregating devices (FADs) with giant ‘purse seine’ nets.

Grrenpeace says that fishing with FADs is indiscriminate – at least 10% of each haul is undersized tuna and other marine creatures, known as bycatch.

Greenpeace says:
  • John West is Australia’s biggest tuna brand – selling 97 million cans of tuna a year.
  • John West claims it is committed to sustainability, but for 98% of its tuna, John West still permits the use of FADs with nets.
  • John West catches the equivalent of 10 million cans of sharks, rays, baby tuna and turtles a year by refusing to ban FADs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The 2012 SA Boat & Fishing Show and 4WD Adventure Show held at the Adelaide Showgrounds 5th -7th October has now finished. Visit for more details.


The South Australian Labour Day public holiday is being held on Monday 1st October. The resulting long weekend is normally referred to as “the October long weekend”, but this one starts in September. The holiday weekend marks the start of a new diving season for those that have had a little break from diving over winter.


Condolences to Valerie Taylor and family following the death of her husband Ron Taylor on 9th September. Ron was aged 78 when he died in a Sydney hospital after a 2-year battle with myeloid leukaemia.

Cave diving advert regarding cholesterol medication

It’s been great seeing that cave diving advert regarding cholesterol medication on TV recently. It can be found at . This is, however, a serious matter. I suggest that you make a point of reading the details found at

Spearfishing surprise

Spearfishing surprise: A huge fish steals a spear fisherman's catch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, Adelaide’s weather for September is windy and cool to mild. The 6 warmest days are above 22C and the 6 coldest nights are below 7C. Wind speeds on ½ of the days exceed 15km/h at 9am & 18km/h at 3pm. Main directions are N at 9am & SW at 3pm.


The annual closure for the Northern Zone Rock lobster fishery bans all Rock lobster fishing activity until 12pm 1 November 2012. Fisheries Officers will patrol coastal waters, with pot owners risking having their pots confiscated or facing a maximum penalty of up to $10 000.


Cuttlefish breathed a collective sigh of relief at the recent announcements that BHP Billiton will not be expanding Olympic Dam and Deepak Fertilisers are not going ahead with its proposed ammonium nitrate plant near Whyalla. The 2011 survey of the Giant Australian Cuttlefish aggregation in northern Spencer Gulf by SARDI scientists concluded that abundance was low, the mean size of males and females was low and, at these levels, recruitment success may be compromised. The State Government has received Commonwealth assistance to monitor the breeding and habitat of Giant Cuttlefish in Upper Spencer Gulf over the next two years through a SARDI project.


The CDAA is holding its 2012 AGM & symposium in Mt Gambier on 27th October.


The following Wikipedia pages may be of some interest to divers: -


The SA State Government recently announced its latest plans for 19 Marine Parks across the State. Draft management plans and impact statements for the 19 parks have been released for public review. Comments are welcome until 22nd October. Public information sessions are being held in September. Further details about everything, including the public information sessions, can be found at . People will still be able to fish & dive in marine parks but no fishing will be permitted in sanctuary zones.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


It’s time to renew your acquaintance with your local dive shop owners again because Dive Log magazine will resume being published in a "print version" again in October.


SARDI scientists surveyed the Giant Australian Cuttlefish aggregation in northern Spencer Gulf last year. The 2011 survey concluded that abundance was low, mean size of males and females was low and, at these levels, recruitment success may be compromised. The State Government has received Commonwealth assistance to monitor the breeding and habitat of Giant Cuttlefish in Upper Spencer Gulf over the next two years through a SARDI project.


The Whyalla cuttlefish closure area in Spencer Gulf has been extended for the 2012 breeding season. The closure extension area starts at the Point Lowly Lighthouse and follows the eastern boundary of the existing closure area. Extending 100 metres offshore from the high water mark, the closure follows the coastline to a point 100 metres south of the boat ramp breakwater near Point Lowly. The temporary closure bans recreational and commercial fishing for all cephalopods (including cuttlefish, squid and octopus) in the area, until 30th September 2012.


Boat anchors are capable of damaging the marine environment and care needs to be taken when anchoring your boat, so I am staggered to read about the use of heavy drift anchors in the June/July issue of “Wild Coast Fishing South Australia” – see article “Drifting for the King” on pages 33 to 36. The article describes the use of a heavy iron weight that would drag along the seabed, stirring up the sediment. This can be very destructive, particularly in areas with a 'broken bottom, shelter/haven for many fish species.


Redmap were successful in being awarded an Inspiring Australia grant this year. The setting up of the new national website for Redmap should be close to completion by now. They are hoping to launch the website and project in October or November. They also hope to set up a Redmap smartphone app in the next 6 months. They have started gathering species information from each state (i.e. species that they would like to list/record on Redmap).


An exhibition, to be opened by Dr Scoresby Shepherd on Friday 3rd August at 6.30 pm, features paintings, photos & 3D works by Dinesh Lawrence Wilkes and Helen Crawford. The exhibition will run from 2nd August – 26th August, Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm, Sunday: 11am – 3pm. It is being held at The Art Centre, 22 Gawler St, Port Noarlunga. Ph. 8326 5577 for further details. To attend the launch, RSVP Dinesh: mob. 0400 900 591 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            0400 900 591      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email to , Helen: ph. 8260 7805 or .


The 2012 SA Caravan, Camping & Off-Road Sale is being held at the Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville from Thursday 2nd - Sunday 5th August, 10am - 5pm daily. Admission Prices: Adult $12, Concession $11 (not including seniors card), Children under 15 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Adelaide’s weather for August

According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, Adelaide’s weather for August is “cool to cold and significant showers are still common (like in July)”. The 6 warmest days are above 18C and the 6 coldest nights are below 6C. Wind speeds on ½ of the days exceed 14km/h at 9am & 17km/h at 3pm. Main directions are N to NE at 9am & SW at 3pm.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Adelaide Boat Show

The Adelaide Boat Show is being held at the Adelaide Showground pavilions at Wayville from Thursday 21/6 at 10am. The latest news about proposed marine parks and sanctuary zones will be available at the DENR stand at the Boat Show. There will also be diving displays.

Latest news about proposed marine parks and sanctuary zones

The latest news about proposed marine parks and sanctuary zones will be available at the DENR stand at this week’s Adelaide Boat Show. There will also be diving displays. The Boat Show is being held at the Adelaide Showground pavilions at Wayville from Thursday 10am.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Facebook Cause page called "Save A Species - Whyalla Cuttlefish"

There is a Facebook Cause page called "Save A Species - Whyalla Cuttlefish" which can be seen at . Please visit the site and add your name in support of our diminishing numbers of cuttlefish at Whyalla.

Cuttlefish numbers are low this year

Carol Faulkner has been busy drawing attention to the plight of cuttlefish. The Sunday Mail of 17th June published this letter from her: "We are well into what would normally be the breeding season of the giant Australian cuttlefish in the upper Spencer Gulf region, but local experts report that cuttlefish numbers are down by around 90% - even worse than last year's destruction. This could mean the end of the breeding colony and indeed the species, as the cuttlefish only live long enough to breed once. This is an ecological disaster of global significance, and our Government may well be in breach of the international Convention on Biological Diversity for failing to act when last year's dramatic drop in numbers signalled a threat to survival of the species. Too many questions remain unanswered. What caused the disappearance? Could BHP Billiton's toxicity testing have had an impact? What emergency action is being taken to save the species from extinction? Unless Fisheries Minister Michael O'Brien is himself counting cuttlefish off the Point Lowly Peninsula, a response is expected, pronto." 


According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, Adelaide’s weather for July is, on average, the coldest month of the year (5-17). Significant showers are common in July. “Wind speeds on ½ of the days exceed 12km/h at 9am & 16km/h at 3pm . . .Main directions are N to NE at 9am & SW to NW at 3pm”.

Steve talking about shark shields

Steve featured on ABC TV's 7pm news on 16th June 2012, talking about shark shields. (He had already been heard on ABC Radio previously.) It can be seen on YouTube at

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ed Zuckerberg,

Ed Zuckerberg, the father of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, is a dentist in Dobbs Ferry, 40km north of Brooklyn in New York. He is also a ‘committed’ diver. He thus decorated his new offices in an aquatic motif, with murals of coral. There is also a 900L aquarium between two of his examination rooms. Even more impressive is that he has no trouble at all pronouncing the Hawaiian name for a triggerfish called humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Air fills

Terry & Rosemary Bormann, who run the Port Victoria Kiosk and Post Office, have now installed an air fill station at their premises. The station was built by an engineering firm from Sydney. It can fill 2 tanks at a time from a bank of 4 cylinders and compressor. Contact them at Pt Victoria Kiosk & PO, Pt Victoria Road (Foreshore), Pt Victoria - 08 8834 2098, e:

Tracey Kille, runs the Teal Turtle Cafe (formerly The Dive Shack) at Port Noarlunga. Their phone's 0457 998 988 & the address is 9 Saltfleet St, Pt Noarlunga 5167 (no email). Tracey's husband is an ex-Navy Clearance Diver and he is thinking about installing a compressor for air fills. They're also thinking about re-opening the two (hot) showers for use by divers. The cafe is open every day except Tuesdays and has coffee loyalty cards - buy 5 coffees & get the 6th one for free. It has been suggested that our member clubs could contact Tracey at the Teal Turtle Cafe & let her know that we think that air fills &/or showers would be a Good Thing. If (when) you call in to the cafe for a coffee, just ask Tracey what is happening about the air fills & the showers. Ask her if she’s started up a petition for them yet. Tell her that you think that they would be a good idea.


MLSSA’s 2013 calendars of SA Marine Life are now available, still at the price of $10 each. They can be previewed at . Copies will be on hand at our meetings. They are available to member clubs at the price of $7 each for fundraising. Enquiries should be made to either or .


The 2012 Adelaide Boat Show is being held from 21st-24th June at the Adelaide Showgrounds. According to the website found at , “The 51st anniversary Adelaide Boat Show in 2012 will be presented in an exciting and enlarged new format, offering something for everyone. There will be boats of all types and sizes, from the basic tinny to sophisticated cruisers, half cabs, reef runners, ski and wakeboard boats, personal watercraft, electronic equipment, fishing and safety gear. Presentations from the Farmers Union stage area include latest boaties’ fashion gear; fishing and kayaking info, filleting and cooking tips, weather and safety info. A variety of door prizes are also up for grabs! Check out Show Features and What’s On Today closer to the Show for more information.”


It has been claimed that the Australian teenager who died whilst snorkelling in Bali in April this year had taken in some air at depth from a diver before returning to the surface. He then surfaced too quickly without expelling the air sufficiently and suffered a lung embolism.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, Adelaide’s weather for June is usually cold, wet & windy – “On average (it) is the wettest month of the year . . . . Wind speeds on ½ of the days exceed 11km/h at 9am & 14km/h at 3pm . . .Prevailing directions are NE at 9am & SW to NW at 3pm”.


According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, May’s weather (in Adelaide) is “usually cool to mild and the likelihood of showers increase” The maximum exceeds 22°C on the 6 warmest days. Winds on ½ of days exceed 10km/h at 9am from the NE and 14km/h at 3pm from the SW.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I'm back!

I haven't done much (any?) blogging lately. Been much too busy writing, publishing, lobbying, etc.. The cooler winter weather is creeping up in South Australia now, but I still want to keep diving here. I've had to do some solo dives lately, but really enjoyed myself. Having a camera to record my sightings really helps. My last dive was disappointing except that I found an old marble bottle over 100 years old, which really made my day. The cuttlefish will be starting to arrive at Whyalla now, so try to get up there to see them. It's good to see that Tsun-Thai Chai, my blogging mentor is now back blogging also. See Chai's Marine Life Blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Adelaide's weathr for March

According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, March’s weather (in Adelaide) is “generally cooler, though hot to very hot days still occur.” The maximum exceeds 32° C on the 6 hottest days” Winds on ½ of days exceed 10km/h at 9am chiefly from the SE. “At 3pm the dominant direction is SW and speeds exceed 15km/h on half the days.”

Cuttlefish centre proposal for Eyre Peninsula

If you would like to see a world class Cuttlefish Interpretive Centre built on Eyre Peninsula, then go here: down and vote in the poll on the right-hand side of the screen

Friday, January 20, 2012

Adelaide's weather in February

According to the Channel 9 Brenton Ragless Almanac for 2012, February’s weather (in Adelaide) is “the hottest and driest month of the year.” The maximum exceeds 35° C on the 6 hottest days” Winds on ½ of days exceed 12km/h at 9am & 16km/h at 3pm. The afternoon sea breeze is from the SW.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Underwater trail at Second Valley

The latest issue of the MLSSA Journal can be found at . It includes several articles of mine about Second Valley jetty and the 'underwater trail' to be found there.


Flinders University PhD student Shea Cameron is conducting a settlement monitoring project. He has set experiments up at Rapid Bay, Second Valley, Edithburgh and Wool Bay jetties. Some photos can be seen at


SDFSA member clubs have decided to get-together once more in 2012 for a dive & BBQ. The get-together will be located at Rapid Bay on 26th February (with back-up dates of 11/3 & 18/3). There will be an a.m. dive followed by a p.m. BBQ and 3 competitive events. The tides are apparently good for diving that morning (26/2). Dives can be made by boat or at the 2 jetties. The Coastal Waters Dive Club is the reigning champion, having won all 2011 events. The Sea Wolves aim to change all of that in 2012. They are challenging all clubs to take them on. They will also provide a marquee for the day. The SDF is providing prizes and trophies, including the famous ‘Gold Lead’ award, for the events. Clubs are requested to organise one event each on the day. They can choose from volleyball, tug-o-war, 1-flipper race, fin toss and balloon tossing. The SDFSA needs clubs to confirm their participation immediately.


MLSSA has established a Facebook page for its SA Marine Life Calendars at!/pages/SA-Marine-Life-Calendars-by-the-Marine-Life-Society-of-South-Australia/238264916242379 . The Marine Life Society’s 2012 calendars of SA marine life have now almost sold out, partly thanks to the new Facebook page.

'Shark attack' term is misleading

According to, 'shark attack' term is misleading


There is a Facebook cause for Whyalla's cuttlefish. Visit the site
at Please join the cause & become involved. There are links to videos, photos and a petition. Sarah Catalano, a
PhD student from the University of Adelaide, is studying a tiny parasite found in the kidneys of Australian giant cuttlefish from Upper Spencer Gulf. (Source: