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 www.redmap.org.au 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: 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!


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.