Words by Deb Aston (Gold Coast Sea Slug Census Committee).
In October 2018 divers will again gather at the Gold Coast for the 3rd Annual Gold Coast Sea Slug Census.
Outcomes from the 2017 census, even with the poor dive conditions, were astounding with 108 species recorded – 13 which were previously unrecorded. One species Dorisprismatica paladentata was a first recorded sighting for Australia. To date we have recorded a total of 275 species with 173 species recorded from the Gold Coast Seaway alone.
Deb Aston - January 26, 2018 - Scottish Prince, Trinchesia Sibogae
The Sea slug Census program is a partnership between Southern Cross University Marine Science Centre and divers who gather to take photos of sea slugs and record some basic data on their finds. The founding concept for the program was to tap into the enormous potential of photographers to document species distributions, and to provide opportunities for volunteer-based biodiversity monitoring.
Sea slugs sometimes called Nudibranchs are a group of marine molluscs that have evolved to partial or full removal of their shells. They are a favourite subject of underwater photographers with colour and form being the main attraction but unlike fish they are slow moving and hence an easier subject to photograph.
The boundaries of the Gold Coast Census runs from South Stradbroke Island down the coast to Cook Island and offers many opportunities to find the amazing sea slugs with Gold Coast Seaway and Tweed River offering some excellent shore diving opportunities.
Deb Aston - January 06, 2018 - Miamira Magnificum, NSW Cook Island
The short life cycles of the sea slugs (up to a year) makes them ideal to track changing environmental conditions and to monitor human-induced changes – including climate change.
Snorkelers, and rock poolers can also get involved with many sea slugs found in the rock pools at Burleigh Heads, Tweed River and Gold Coast Seaway.
2018 brings exciting news with the expansion of the Photo Competition and the inclusion of a short video category. Photo and Video categories will be blind judged by well know Underwater Photographers who will be announced very shortly.
Want to view the amazing photos and videos?
Andrew Wingate - Hypselodoris Tyroni
A Presentation Evening will be held at the Southport Community Centre on the 20th October 2018, where all of the prize winners will be announced and all images will be displayed. It’s a great night to come meet fellow divers and socialise. Full details on the Gold Coast Sea Slug Census can be found – Facebook Group – Gold Coast Sea Slug Census. Further enquires can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org