Article by Deb Aston from Gold Coast Sea Slug Census
COVID19 has had a dramatic effect on us all and we understand that the dive industry would be under great pressure during this time. Therefore we have made the decision, to this year run the October Gold Coast Census without prize sponsorship. Divers doing their bit for science. Some of our sponsors such as Adreno wanted to still be involved, so there are some surprise prizes on offer.
Still a touch of competition with three Perpetual Trophies on offer:
Team Trophy – for the team who finds the most Sea Slug Species
Buddy Pair who finds the most Sea Slug Species
Best Photograph of a Sea Slug
Why do we survey Sea Slugs?
Sea Slugs are one of the most popular and photogenic marine creatures. They have an extraordinary array of colours and occur across most habitats in our marine environment and there are hundreds of known species of sea slugs in SE Qld waters, with many more to be discovered and named (3000 named species throughout the world. 290 Total – 177 GC Seaway). They are considered to be excellent indicators of environmental change, including climate change with little known about their basic biology and ecology.
Great news that the border closures have been relaxed so divers can now access the full boundaries of the Census, from South Stradbroke to Cook Island. Cook Island has always been a hot spot for finding Sea Slugs but Palm Beach reef has again come to life and there are lots of Slugs to be found. Rock Pooling will also be possible at Burleigh Heads for those non divers.
Professor Steve Smith, from the National Marine Science Centre, Southern Cross University from Coffs Harbour will lead a team in northern NSW extending the boundaries for this year as they will be unable to cross the border.
For further information please contact Deb Aston firstname.lastname@example.org