Reef Life Survey
Reef Life Survey (RLS) is a non-profit citizen science program in which trained SCUBA divers undertake standardised underwater visual surveys of reef biodiversity on rocky and coral reefs around the world. WADDI assists RLS with surveys around Rottnest Island and other locations in Western Australia.
Handfish surveys at Tasmin Peninsula, Tasmania
From 27th February to 2nd March 2015 WADDI member and chairman Paul Day travelled to Tasmania to participate in Reef Life Survey coordinated surveys that were searching specifically for the rare handfish species, Ziebels handfish (Brachiopsilus Ziebelli), and the Red handfish (Thymichthys politus).
Diving took place around Eaglehawk Neck where the team was based and where the famous underwater photographer David Doubilet dived with Mick Baron, owner operator of EagleHawk Neck Dive Centre.
Doubilet was also searching for handfish to photograph in 1997.
The sites are truly spectacular with healthy sponge gardens in 36 m at Deep Glen and The Sisters.
Massive schools of Butterfly Perch (Caesioperca lepidoptera) hanging over drop-offs and thick macroalgal communities near the surface dominated by Bull kelp (Durvillaea potatorum) clinging to the reef with holdfasts as thick as your arm.
Rottnest Island Survey with Reef Life Survey
The annual Reef Life Survey (RLS) long weekend at Rottnest Island, Western Australia, took place from Friday 22nd to Monday 25th May 2015 and involved a number of WADDI members who are also active divers with RLS.
The main objective is to survey RLS monitoring sites on sub-tidal reefs located around the island recording both fish and invertebrate species on 50 m transects.
The data collected during this expedition contributed to the Rottnest Island sub-tidal reef biodiversity dataset for the 8th consecutive year.
Over the four days of the surveys, divers were accommodated at the research station and dived from two vessels surveying iconic dive spots such as Green Island Sanctuary zone, Crystal Palace, Roe Reef and Pocillopora Reef where numerous tropical species of fish are regularly sighted.
Once again, this trip is supported by Rottnest Island Authority with one of the vessels provided by the Underwater Explorers Club.
For more information, please see the Reef Life Survey website.
Marmion Marine Park Survey, WA, with Reef Life Survey
Another WA Reef Life Survey (RLS) project is being led within Marmion Marine Park and began this year on the 30th May with a shore dive from Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club.
WADDI members, also trained as RLS volunteers, are involved in the survey of sites within the park in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW). The main objective, once again, is to monitor sub-tidal reef biodiversity recording both fish and invertebrate species on 50 m transects.
Launching from Hillarys’ boat ramp, other iconic dive sites include the following: the Lumps, Witford’s Rock, Wanneroo, Cow Rocks, Little Island, Three miles and Burns.
Thank you to Tom Holmes from DPaW for his guidance and to WADDI member, Ben Jones, for providing usage of his boat for the purpose of the surveys