AUSTRALIA - There has been another increase in Giant Australian Cuttlefish numbers - the second annual consecutive rise in the species population.
Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the Giant Cuttlefish population in northern Spencer Gulf had increased by 128 per cent to 130,771 compared to 57,000 last year.
“Giant Australian Cuttlefish is an iconic South Australian species and visitors from all over the world come here specifically to see them,” Mr Bignell said.
"Just a few years ago the northern Spencer Gulf cuttlefish population had significantly declined. However, research revealed the iconic species was not adversely affected by habitat loss, metal contaminants or by-catches.
“This year’s survey by the South Australian Research and Development Institute shows conditions have been very favourable over the last two spawning seasons - which occurs at Point Lowly near Whyalla.
“This second increase is great news for the marine environment, regional tourism and the northern Spencer Gulf community.
“The Whyalla Cuttlefish Citizen Scientist Group has again been active this year, undertaking surveys throughout the season to complement SARDI’s formal monitoring program.
“It’s so good to see the willingness and enthusiasm of local divers to get involved in the research and it goes to show just how valued this remarkable species is.”
Chief Executive of Conservation Council SA, Craig Wilkins, said the results were encouraging.
“The Giant Australian Cuttlefish are the rock stars of South Australia’s marine environment,” he said.
“This year’s numbers provide a promising sign the population is recovering from the dramatic low seen in 2013. That’s tremendous news,” Mr Wilkins said.
Mr Bignell said the State Government had been investigating what caused the population decline in 2013 and the research was due to be completed by the end of this year.
“The exact cause of the decline remains difficult to pinpoint but ongoing research is helping to find out more about the population,” he said.
TheFishSite News Desk