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Welcome to NautiGuides!
Our compliments go out to local divers and clubs interested in Yorke Peninsulaâ€™s coast. Sharing our experiences can help conservation and understanding for future generations.
The 24 hour FISHWATCH hotline on 1800 065 522
The collation of images received by NautiGuides helps marine researchers build a better understanding of species numbers and distribution. Many other images taken at Yorke Peninsula are available online. Participation will allow NautiGuides to reveal how numerous sightings of each species is, and where and when to look for the more elusive creatures. It will build a complete, photographic species list for for Edithburgh and Port Hughes jetties. The possibilities are limitless with feedback from recreational divers.
South Australian Police on 000 (112 from mobiles) or 131 444 for non-emergencies) Reef Watch on 08 8223 5155 Surf Life Saving SA on 08 8377 1600 DAN on 1800 088 200
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Will Scapens NautiGuides
NautiGuides would like to acknowledge the following local divers for their assistance in providing imagery: Alexius Sutandio, Bradley Dohnt, Diana Fernie, Carly Gladwell, Paul Macdonald, Michael Matthewson and Phil Mercurio. Edited by Diana Fernie. Front cover image courtesy of Alexius Sutandio Design by
Wrecks, ! x a l e r , s k e tr Visiting Yorke Peninsula is like stepping back in time. The pace of life is tranquil and the locals are very welcoming and always make time to chat. The coastline has claimed many ships, the Clan Ranald being the peninsula’s most famous, and worst tragedy. Walking trails follow this long and often secluded coastline, and to look out to sea and imagine sailors’ struggles and fears as their vessel floundered is a soul searching and humbling affair. Edithburgh was once South Australia’s third busiest port, specialising in salt scraped from the region’s salt pans.
About the Area
Port Hughes jetty was built too late to be of any real commercial use. It has been mostly for recreation.
Today both jetties are focal points for leisure, relax!
13 Map & ID Chart 19 Cephalopods 21 Nauti-Plans 24 Nauti-Nights 26 Nauti-Research 27 Nauti-Behaviour
As Port Hughes is situated on the west coast, it offers captivating sunsets over the ocean. Photograph by Carly Gladwell.
About the Area
about the area Yorke Peninsula is a playground for water lovers. Its close proximity to Adelaide makes it a very popular retreat for all those needing a break from urban life. The peninsula divides Gulf St Vincent in the east and Spencer Gulf in the west and this provides limitless opportunities for exploration and recreation. The toe of the peninsula is home to the Innes National Park which receives 150,000 visitors a year. The park offers designated camping areas with ample amenities. There is a fee to enter the park. Edithburgh was established in 1869 and is named after Governor Sir James Fergusson’s wife Edith. The two main roads were named for his two daughters, Edith and Blanche. The towns’ opulence of the time is still evident with its wide roads and attractive architecture. The feel of the town is rather splendid, though the jetty (built in 1873) stands as an ideal reminder of its maritime and industrial past. The towns’ primary industry was salt, with scrapings being taken from the many surrounding salt lakes. The produce was hauled to the refineries in town by horse-drawn wagons and loaded onto the waiting ships via tracks on the jetty. The double width of the jetty gives some indication to the amount of salt moved, reportedly over 80,000 tons in 1912. Edithburgh Museum is well worth a visit, although as a community run attraction it is advisable to phone ahead to check opening times. To the north of Edithburgh jetty is a tidal swimming pool with changing rooms, BBQs and beautifully maintained lawns to picnic, rest and enjoy the afternoon. Adjacent to the caravan park there is a large boat ramp allowing those towing to get onto the water. The anchor of the migrant ship Marion is mounted here in commemoration of her sinking in 1851. Marion Reef also inherited her name.
Wattle Point Wind Farm to the south of Edithburgh provides renewable electricity for around 52,000 South Australian homes through its 55 wind turbines. It is worth the short drive to stand beneath one of the 67 metre high towers and listen to the raw power of the giant rotors. Port Hughes is on the west coast of the Yorke Peninsula. It sits on the edge of the ‘copper triangle’, so named for the local copper mining of the early 1860s. This industry also led to the region becoming known as South Australia’s ‘Little Cornwall’ due to the number of Cornish Miners who settled in the area. The jetty was first proposed in the 1860s but was rejected in favour of the Moonta Jetty a couple of kilometres to the north. Construction finally went ahead some forty years later and was completed in 1914. There is a large grain industry still evident in the area and Wallaroo is a functioning port for large carriers. A rapidly growing tourism industry is now developing around Port Hughes due to its fantastic white sand beaches and clear waters. Yorke Peninsula’s various charms are built on its unique history and past industries. This blend all adds to the distinctive draw of the region.
the history A visit to Edithburgh cemetery is a sombre reminder of one of South Australia’s worst maritime tragedies and immoral White Australia Policy. The bodies of five British officers killed when the S.S. Clan Ranald capsized and sunk off Troubridge Hill are buried here. At the back of the cemetery, a further 31 unnamed Lascars are buried in Australia’s largest mass grave. ‘Lascar’ was a common term used for Asiatic and Indian crew. Of the twenty Lascars aboard the Clan Ranald who survived the terrifying sinking, all were promptly arrested as illegal immigrants before later being deported. The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 required immigrants pass a dictation test to be permitted to stay in the country, as a tool to validate their removal. The Clan Ranald Lascar quartermaster was able to pass this test, however a detective was quickly called so that he may be retested in a language he would fail. He duly did fail the second test and was sent with all the other ‘coloured’ survivors to Melbourne on board the Clan McLachlan bound for Colombo. The harshness of the White Australia Policy is evident in newspaper reporting of the time that proclaimed ‘…they will be got out of the state as soon as possible’. There was public outcry however, and prior to them departing, the Mayor of Adelaide presented each with a monetary gift, and wished them well. This public outcry for change was later to lead to critical changes in the Act. The design of the two-deck turret ship’s was flawed in certain conditions. The hull of the ship, rather than meeting at a right angle with the main deck, curved inwards to form horizontal platforms termed ‘Harbour decks’. The hull then curved back to vertical to form the ‘turrets’ of the ship before being capped by the true deck, or ‘Turret deck’, at the ship’s highest point.
The reason behind this design concept was that shipping passing through the Suez Canal had to pay a toll based in part on deck width. The turret design effectively reduced tolls required to be paid, as the uppermost turret deck was used to calculate the toll, and was only about half of the ship’s true beam. In addition, the design allowed the cargo holds of the ship to extend right up to the turret deck, as the entire height of the ship was considered a part of the hull, not added superstructure. Even the harbour decks were used for additional cargo. The catastrophic disadvantage was that incorrect loading and insufficient ballast could cause the ship to become unstable due to its high centre of gravity. When the Clan Ranald berthed at Darling’s Mill it was to take aboard a large cargo including bags of wheat, flour and coal. Over 150 tons of coal was loaded onto the upper decks. As the ship took on this increasing load, the water ballast tanks in the base of the vessel were emptied to maintain its buoyancy. As the centre of gravity rose stability problems became evident, and the ship was found to be listing to port. In response, 50 tons of coal was placed on the starboard harbour deck to counteract the list. The wake of a passing vessel now transferred the list to starboard and more amendments were deemed necessary. However, it is reported that the ship was found to be sitting on the sea floor and any accurate appraisal of its loading would have been impossible. When the Clan Ranald finally left its Semaphore anchorage it was on a 4° list to starboard.
Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia (PRG-20-120-20)
Survivors of the Clan Ranald recover on the beach soon after their rescue and prior to their deportation.
At 2.00pm on the 31 January 1909 en route to South Africa and south of Troubridge Island, the Clan Ranald suddenly lurched onto a 45Ëš angle. The crew rushed onto deck to find the rudder was clear of the water and the starboard deck submerged. At 4.30pm the wind blew up from the south east driving the ship towards Troubridge Hill. Rising seas smashed the two accessible lifeboats and the crew was forced to improvise wooden rafts to make their escape. An attempt
A large attendance at the memorial service for those lost in the Clan Ranald tragedy demonstrated the horror of events felt by the local people. Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia (PRG-20-120-20)
was made to steady the vessel by drawing the bow into the wind by dropping the starboard anchor, but this led to a number of deck hatches being ripped away by the rough seas and the ship began to fill. At approximately 9.30pm, a passing ship was spotted, but attempts to signal it failed. At 10.00pm, the Clan Ranald finally capsized and sank in 20 metres of water, 700 metres from shore. The crew clung to wreckage and fought to get to shore only to be bashed and broken on the rocks by the heavy seas. The final death count was 40, just 24 crew survived.
nauti-pics Images here and on our website are all compliments of local divers and clubs who enjoy sharing their passion. All budding photographers out there are encouraged to submit their own via our website. See how others rate yours, and browse to draw inspiration from others. We are sure you will enjoy the NautiGuides gallery as much as we do!
Maybe one of your shots will end up on the front cover of your local NautiGuides!
Pipefish are members of the Syngnathid family and since 2006 have been protected. Pipefish rely on camouflage for protection so feel good if you uncover one and even better if you can identify its species. Photograph by Will Scapens.
Syngnathid Family includes Pipefish, Seahorses and Seadragons.
Reef Watch have identified this as a Tasmanian Clingfish, Aspasmogaster tasmaniensis, found across the southern temperate zone from southern WA to Vic and Tas Photograph by Michael Matthewson.
You can easily see this Tasselled Anglerfishes wormlike lure, used to attract unwary prey. Not many divers can boast images due to their ultimate camouflage. Photograph by Phil Mercurio
Blue Swimmer Crab are plentiful around both jetties. The males are generally the brighter blue whilst females have a duller, brown look. Photograph by Diana Fernie.
The Warty Prowfishes primary food source is shrimp.
Photograph by Phil Mercurio.
Cowfish are dimorphic, this is a female Ornate Cowfish. Ornate Cowfish are often confused with the very similar Shawâ€™s Cowfish which has more backward-directed spines on the head. You will often see groups of Cowfish feeding on crabs and bait discarded by fishermen Photograph by Diana Fernie.
Dimorphic Sexes have differing body shapes and colour.
This nudibranch is commonly known as Albany Marionia ( Mariona sp.). Neville Coleman advised Paul that he does not know of this animal being recorded in SA before. A good example of how recreational divers can provide useful data for marine authorities.
Note the type of weed that Seahorses prefer to help you locate them yourselves. Photograph by Paul Macdonald.
Please use these fantastic offers organised by NautiGuides with local business.
Edithburgh Deli & Newsagency
The Garage Diner
Recieve a complimentary tide times booklet
Edithburgh Caravan Park Your hosts: Andrew & Belinda Sherriff
On the seafront over-looking Troubridge Island and the beautiful Gulf St. Vincnent
10% discount off purchases with a NautiGuides
Gourmet Cafe dine in or take away
Phone: 08 8384 6509
PORT HUGHES STORE AND BOAT HIRE Port Hughes Foreshore Phone Mark on 0418 831 175
Please support these local businesses that support us.
Edithburgh Caravan Park
Edithburgh Deli & Newsagency
SPA Cabins En Suite Cabins 4-6 berth on-site vans Kitchen with all amenities BBQ area Boat & Fish cleaning bay Maintained lawns & shady sites
Take away Groceries DVD hire Hardware Petrol Bait & tackle
O’Halloran Parade, Edithburgh Phone 08 8852 6056
32 Blanche Street, Edithburgh Phone 08 8852 6230
Gourmet Café Licensed or BYO Alfresco dining Superb coffee Great food Internet facilities Chef’s specials lunch & dinner Open Thursday - Monday Edithburgh SA Phone Jenny 08 8852 6023
The Garage Diner
Eat in or take away Seafood Chips Pizza delivery Thursday to Sunday even to the jetty!
Wendy and Staff 41 Blanche Street, Edithburgh Phone: 08 8852 6509
Wheatsheaf Hotel The Coldest Beer on the Peninsular
Gardner st. Price 5570 • Phone 88 376201 • Fax 88 376301
PORT HUGHES STORE AND BOAT HIRE Fully equipped and surveyed
GPS including dive site marks
All saftey gear
Sun and weather protection
come into the store on the foreshore! Phone Mark: 0418 831 175
EMERGENCY MEETING POINT 2
ENTRY POINT 1
Jetty to Pool Wall 2.0m
GIANT STRIDE ENTRY
EMERGENCY MEETING POINT 1
edit Hbur gh Marion Memorial
cuttlefish Blue Devil
Bullseye HORSESHOE LEATHERJACKET
Short head seahorse
Pencil Weed Whiting
nudibranch (short tailed ceratosoma)
Banded sea perch
striped pyjama squid (in peril)
SERGANT BAKER pygmy cuttlefish Magpie Perch
Fish ID Chart
in per il zebra fish
Harlequin Fish A solitary species that is known to have an inquisitive nature. Has a slow growth rate meaning population recovery is likely to be slow. (juv.)
A pilot study of the head spots of Harlequin fish is currently underway to find out if it is possible to identify individuals. They are looking for any images that clearly show the head from the side, particularly any that you might have photographed in the same location at different times.
Blue ring octopus Ornate Cow Fish
Either forward them to us at NautiGuides or direct to Reef Watch.
Caulerpa Taxifolia Out competes native algae, displaces invertebrate communities and is a threat to sea grass. Cannot be eaten by fish due to toxins. Can grow up to 4cm a day. The fronds lie flat in one plane opposite each other on a thin round stem.
BLUE THROATED WRASSE
Port jackson shark
Northern Pacific Seastar It is a voracious predator and is a threat to aquaculture industries and native shellfish species. The pointed, curled arm tips are the key feature that distinguish this foreign species. sea biscuit
wavy grub fish
p or t H u g h e s
EMERGENCY MEETING POINT 1 6.0m
Please support these local businesses that support us.
The Edithburgh Hotel Est. 1878 Serving an extensive a la carte menu & ongoing specials Enjoy our very friendly service Separate dining
Games room & pool table Beer garden Pokies ATM Bottle shop
Large screen TV
Phone: 0433 433 223 Fax: 08 8852 6011
Australiaâ€™s underwater and photo video store Australiaâ€™s longest established underwater photo and video store offering the best advice with the security and convenience of local support.
Open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm Unit 2, 65 - 67 Nelson Street Stepney, SA 5069 Phone: 08 8363 3277 Fax: 08 8363 3211
Pleaser use these fantastic offers organised by NautiGuides with local business.
The Edithburgh Hotel Est. 1878 ‘The Two Storey’
Kitchen open 7 days
Sea Optics was established in 1974 and remains the region’s only dedicated underwater photographic & video equipment store. We are a photographic store dedicated to the selling and servicing of underwater imaging equipment. We have been providing truly professional advice, sales and service for much of the world’s finest underwater photo and video equipment and related accessories for around 34 years now and as such are one of the oldest stores of its type anywhere in the world! SUPPLIERS OF NAUTIGUIDES!
Photograph by Paul Macdonald.
Disruptive patterning is how the cuttlefish can reduce the chance of being spotted from above against the bottom substrate.
Cephalopods are a type of mollusc, although a lot more captivating than most scallops! They include squid, cuttlefish and octopus, all found in generous numbers on Yorke Peninsula. The Australian Giant Cuttlefish is the largest cuttlefish species in the world and from May to August, hundreds of thousands gather in Whyalla to spawn. Cephalopods are intelligent creatures, and it is currently believed that they may even be able to learn by watching others.
They can change colour and texture at will for either camouflage or communication. The cuttlefish here is demonstrating disruptive patterning to break up his outline and confuse possible predators. Cuttlefish can also mimic the background, counter shade dark over light in mid water, or deceive you by attempting to appear like other objects! If a Cephalopod thinks its camouflage has failed and feels threatened, it may suddenly morph to bold and contrasting patterns to startle possible predators before making its escape amongst a cloud of ink. Map ref
This octopus was discovered curled up and cosy in a Razorfish shell.
The Southern Dumpling Squid is generally nocturnal and difficult to spot on a day dive due to its employment of a mucus-lined sand camouflage.
Photograph by Phil Mercurio.
Photograph by Michael Matthewson.
Anglerfish in all their guises make for striking photography. Photograph by Phil Mercurio.
Roughly five pylons from the entry steps at Edithburgh, north from the shade of the jetty, is an area of seaweed ideal for congregating Seahorses. At night, up to thirty have been spotted clinging to a single piece of weed. They do have a preference to the type of weed they cling to though!
Amphipod Crustacean of the order Amphipoda (including shrimps and sand hoppers).
Port Hughes Jetty
There is an abundance of diving opportunity on Yorke Peninsula, and the easy access to shore diving allows dives to be completed at your own pace. You can dive in the morning, and then in the evening, on dusk or at night. Here are some nauti-plans to considerâ€Ś
Port Hughes jetty is a shallow dive allowing plenty of time to explore. Depths range from 3m at the steps to 6m at the end of the jetty making it a great site for snorkellers. The majority of the bottom substrate is sea grass interspersed with plenty of razorfish. The razorfish provide shelter for many species, and it is well worth exploring the contents of any shells. If you are persistent enough in your searches you may discover Tasselled, Smooth and Prickly Anglerfish. They use their impressive camouflage to lie in wait, utilising a modified first dorsal spine to lure their prey. This dorsal spine supports the esca, which is the bait. The Smooth Anglerfishes esca mimics amphipod, which are a food source for sand gobies, common under the jetty. The Anglerfishes food source is the goby. Throughout the sea grass you will find Pipefish including the Spotted, Wide-body and Brushtail amongst others. About 20 species of Pipefish are known to be endemic to Southern Australian waters. The beach south of the jetty has a rocky outcrop that is ideal for younger snorkellers, and there is some great reef diving around the bluff although this area can only be reached by boat or 4WD.
The Southern Eagle Ray can grow to approximately 1.2m in width. They are generally majestic swimmers, although they are reported to be able to jump clear of the water and reach very high speeds when necessary. Photograph by Will Scapens.
Endemic Native to or confined to a certain region.
This adult Southern Goatfish was photographed at the end of Edithburgh jetty. Its colouring is different to juveniles who are much lighter, have a black stripe along their midsection and a white underside. Photograph by Will Scapens.
Edithburgh Jetty and Jetty to Pool Edithburgh Jetty is an incredibly diverse site for a shore dive and can be repeatedly dived without feeling you have seen everything. It is considered one of the best jetty dives in Australia, and attracts divers from around the world to experience its wonders. Be sure to check out around the concrete blocks and under the discarded sleepers and tyres dropped from the jetty. Heading out from the end of the jetty in a northerly direction, you will find a number of
Devote some dive time to Cuttlefish! Watch their colour, pattern and body posture changes and you will soon recognise when they are at ease in your company and ready for you to approach them.
small reefs up to 1.5metres in height which are often frequented by Cuttlefish and Snook. Local fishermen know this area as ‘Lead City’ due to the number of weights lost when casting in the vicinity. To vary your dive, ensure the current is in your favour and follow the ‘Jetty to Pool drop off’. There are a number of overhangs and caves here, ideal homes for the Blue Devil which is a Reef Watch ‘in peril’ species. The top of this drop off is less than a metre deep in places making a great opportunity to take the kids snorkelling. Eagle Rays are regularly seen patrolling along this ridge.
Wool Bay Wool Bay jetty is a very shallow dive, rarely achieving over 3 metres in depth. Not overly populated fish wise, Wool Bay seems to be home to an abundance of Leafy Seadragons which can be enjoyed even by those restricted to snorkelling.
The Clan Ranald lies in 20 metres of water about half hour by boat from Edithburgh. Other wreck dives from Edithburgh includes the wrecks of the Marion and the Iron King, located on Marion Reef, south of Troubridge Island, but these are best visited with somebody familiar with the area because of currents and reef hazards. The Iron King, Marion and Clan Ranald are all historic shipwrecks protected by law.
Edithburgh Sponge Beds The sponge beds are extensive and are found in 6 metres approximately half way between Edithburgh and Troubridge Island, and slightly north. A quick snorkel over the side will soon tell you when you are in the right spot. The Swimming Anemone is often seen during the day, but at night it moves on to algal fronds to open its tentacles and feed. It will detach itself from the substrate and either crawl or drift with the current. Photograph by Diana Fernie.
Troubridge Point Troubridge Point offers a drop off ranging from 5 to 15 metres, about 500 metres from the cliffs. Huge caverns and crevasses, gorgonian fan coral and a good variety of shells and fish make this area a treat to visit. Again, conditions here can be hazardous.
Leafy Seadragons are a Reef Watch â€˜in perilâ€™ species and can be found right around Yorke Peninsula. Wool Bay is an excellent choice if hoping to spot one whilst snorkelling.
Photograph by Paul Macdonald.
Due to the amount of lost tackle at both jetties, take a knife or line-cutter with you when diving so you can remove any tangles you may encounter.
nautiNIGHTS Edithburgh Jetty is famous for being an exclusive habitat of the Striped Pyjama Squid, a cephalopod little bigger than the top of your thumb who generally hides in the sand with just his eyes showing. Our hopes of an encounter were high. With marker lights in place to guide us home, we dropped to the sea floor away from the wind driven swell on the surface, into calm water. Immediately my buddy started tapping my shoulder, pointing at the seabed with his torch beam. My eyes hovered for a movement in the light and I caught its movement. A Blue Ring Octopus was pulling and grasping its way across the sea floor, in search of crab, shrimp or a bivalve for supper. Its body displayed iridescent blue rings advertising its toxicity, seemingly playing to the camera as we filmed its progress. The Blue Ring Octopus has the ability to disappear into the background, changing the colour and texture of its skin to resemble sand, rocks, reef, and even seaweed, useful when you can still fall prey to larger fish. This guy showed no such fear, and our hearts soared in anticipation of the rest of the dive. Systematically moving away from shore it seemed like we were flying over a landscape of chimney stacks thanks to the masses of sea squirts (ascidians). The dive site was teeming with life, coral polyps that open at night to feed, radically changing its appearance from day. Our lights illuminated the sponge and soft coral and we marvelled at the depth of colour. During the day these colours are lost as the sunlight is absorbed by the water overhead or shaded by the jetty. At night the entire light spectrum is seen and the site is transformed. Searching the jetty pylons we found hundreds of hermit crabs, sea snails and other molluscs. The trick to night diving is to be very calm, and to take your time.
Concentrate on the area your torch brings to life, it’s all about the smaller creatures on a night dive. Look in every crevice, and peer under rocks and in weed and sponge. You’ll be amazed at the sheer number of shrimps and crustaceans to be found. It is a reasonable ploy to dump all your air, and simply wait for the life to come to you! Our first 10 minutes diving had already uncovered a host of inhabitants and as I inspected the bottom of a pylon, just three away from the entry steps, my main objective was fulfilled. The image I had seen in numerous books and conservation publications was picture perfect in front of me. A Striped Pyjama Squid sat uncovered and unconcerned on the sand, and allowed us plenty of opportunity to prepare for a perfect macro shot. Possibly startled by the flash, it then effortlessly sunk on the spot so only its eyes and back remained in view. We moved on leaving it waiting for a small hapless fish or shrimp to pass. A Globe Fish appeared from the gloom to investigate our lights; seemingly mesmerised it hovered between us then started to sink towards the floor. I positioned my palm beneath it and let it land softly on my hand, wide eyed and smiling. Continuing on we were rewarded with a small Dumpling Squid and a passing Velvet Octopus that didn’t like our company much and quickly left. When we finally left the water over an hour later, we had much to discuss albeit with a prioritised agenda…have we time for a second tank! If you haven’t completed your night diving speciality, all Adelaide dive stores offer them. It adds another dimension to your diving repertoire, and improves your day diving competency into the bargain.
Catfish are solitary and secretive, rarely seen during the day when they hide in holes or under ledges. Boasts venomous spines that are capable of causing extremely painful stings. Photograph by Paul Macdonald.
The striking and exclusive Striped Pyjama Squid. Photograph by Diana Fernie.
night-tips • Wear gloves, both dive sites are home to the Blue Ring Octopus. • Don’t shine your light directly at your buddy as this will ruin any night vision they’ve built up. Keep the beam facing toward the ground. • Try turning lights off altogether particularly during full moons. You may find that the water is full of phytoplankton that lights up when disturbed making for a spectacular natural light show. • If diving a wreck, don’t ever attempt any penetration at night! • Scan the edge of your light beam rather than the centre where the intensity of the light can be too bright.
nautiresear ch The Reef Watch community-based environmental monitoring program manages a sub-program called Feral or In Peril. We train volunteers to identify and report on both introduced marine pests and native species of conservation concern. If you go on a night dive at Edithburgh jetty you are almost sure to see the Striped Pyjama Squid (Sepioloidea lineolata). This charming little native squid, only 7 cm long, has a distinctive black and white stripe colouration with little frills above the eyes. It has only recently been discovered that this little squid has poisonous skin. Its distribution is traditionally restricted to only three places in Australia â€“ a small area on the eastern Australian coast, in southern Western Australia, and at Edithburgh. There are many reports of this species being caught as by-catch by prawn trawlers, so they must be more widely distributed than just at Edithburgh. We consulted with cephalopod expert, Mark Norman, and he suggested that it would be extremely useful to have a more definitive idea of its distribution. We ask divers to report on sightings other than at Edithburgh. Mark says that these are his favourite cuttlefish because they seem to be more cartoon than actual living thing.
Recreational divers are the logical candidates for early detection and consistent monitoring of our reefs. One of NautiGuides aims is to build complete ongoing inventories of species at each dive site. You can help by visiting our website and viewing images of species known at the site you have dived. Simply check each species that you encountered, and if you saw a species that is not listed, either add its name, or an image if you have one. We will make the identification on your behalf. This information will build a picture of how common species are, their numbers, and any seasonal fluctuations. We will analyse this feedback to let you know when best to dive to sight particular species, and let you rate how well your skills are developing in finding those more elusive guys. The website includes many features designed to let you get more from your diving.
Photograph by Mark Norman
In Peril Species
The Southern Blue Devil is a Reef Watch â€˜In Perilâ€™ species. They are particularly vulnerable to spearfishers as they are a solitary fish that stays in one area for most of their adult lives.
Feral Red Alert Species Japanese Seaweed is a very hardy species with incredible growth rate. This allows it to out-compete native species, depriving them of light. As native species die off, fish move away. This Seaweed has a distinctive area just above the holdfast that clearly distinguishes it from native kelp.
They are mostly now seen in small clumps of just a few centimetres whereas they have been seen in colonies up to 3m in diameter in the past.
nautiBehaviour Edithburgh & Port Hughes jetties are both fragile ecosystems. All components of them are important and need protection from human impact. Diver Specific
Always maintain good buoyancy control so that you do not kick up sand and silt ruining visibility for others, particularly photographers.
Shipwrecks are in essence, mini reef systems. The biggest threat to historic wrecks is the boat anchor. Once a wreck is located, move into the tide away from the wreck. Place your anchor and let the tide drift you back until you are over the wreck.
Make sure you have as few items as possible hanging from your body that can damage the ocean floor as you pass. Take note of where fishermen are fishing before entering the water. Fishermen will often be constrained to one side of the jetty due to the tide. Plan dives so as to avoid their lines.
Unsure of what the visibility actually was, pulling a figure from nowhere when asked? The best way to accurately gauge visibility is beneath the jetty. The pylons at both Edithburgh and Port Hughes are approximately 6 metres apart.
Once diving, check the anchor is secure at the start of your dive, and unable to pull into the wreck.
Reef Coral colonies were once widespread but possibly due to net dragging by trawlers, much less common now.
Photograph by Phil Mercurio.
NautiGuides publications are dedicated to providing comprehensive information so that visitors and locals alike may enjoy the area with minimal physical impact. We hope to provide the knowledge you need to better understand and appreciate the environment you are visiting. All photography within NautiGuides is taken at the relevant dive site, and is kindly donated by local photographers to improve the enjoyment of Edithburgh and Port Hughes for all. NautiGuides publications both support and promote conservation and marine research efforts as paramount to the future health of our oceans and local dive sites. We are committed to raising awareness of the underwater ecosystem thoughout the general public, schools and colleges.
Photograph by Alexius Sutandio.
All advertising within NautiGuides is provided by locally owned businesses who support NautiGuides mandate to help preserve their local coastal environment. Please support these environmentally aware businesses wherever you can, so that they can continue to support us. TM
NautiGuides would like to acknowledge these organisations for their support.
Photography is made available to schools and colleges to use for educational purposes, in the knowledge that the future health of our oceans will one day be in our childrenâ€™s hands.
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Edithburgh is one of the best shore diving spots in South Australia. It is one of the only places you will find the cute Pyjama Squid, and i...