Tuesday, October 23, 2012


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: http://feralperil.ala.org.au 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!

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