Come see SA’s Giant Australian Cuttlefish colourful show

Date posted: 13 May 2017

Hon Ian Hunter MLC

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

Thousands of Giant Australian Cuttlefish are on their way to Whyalla – and South Australians are encouraged to book their spot to snorkel with experienced instructors and see the annual migration of these colourful creatures.
 
As the cooler weather rolls around, Giant Australian Cuttlefish congregate in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park at Point Lowly near Whyalla to breed and put on a colourful show.
 
You can swim with the cuttlefish with Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries (EMS) guided tours between 7 and 9 July. Book your spot before June 7 to receive 33 per cent off (early-bird special) or 66 per cent off for Eyre Peninsula locals.

To book visit the EMS website. The cuttlefish congregation is the first following a State Government announcement in November to contribute $85,000 towards upgrading visitor facilities at the site.

Background
 
EMS is run by community members who are passionate about providing hands-on learning experiences in the ocean for people of all ages.
 
The Giant Australian Cuttlefish start to congregate in mid-May but the best time of year to experience them is June and July when the breeding season is in full swing.
 
The Giant Australian Cuttlefish population size was reported as 57,317 in 2014, 130,771 in 2015 and 177,092 in 2016. The EMS snorkel event is supported by Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula and SA Regional Science Hub.

The event is suitable for children eight years and above. Ticket price includes snorkel, mask and fins, 7mm exposure suit, hood, gloves and boots.

Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock’s Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback Futures Program has put $85,000 towards upgrading visitor facilities at the cuttlefish aggregation area.

This upgrade, which will cost around $205,000 and includes funding from the Whyalla City Council and Port Bonython Fuels, will include improving the viewing area, a new car park, better seating and interpretive signage. Part of the upgrade, including re-aligning the road and intersection used in this area, started earlier this year. Works will commence again when the cuttlefish season ends.

Quotes attributable to Environment Minister Ian Hunter

Swimming with Whyalla’s Giant Australian Cuttlefish congregation is a globally significant unique nature-based tourism experience in our own backyard. 

The sheer number of cuttlefish makes the Whyalla breeding aggregations unique, not just in Australia, but the world.
 
This amazing spectacle is attracting more visitors to the region each year. Last year EMS snorkelled with over 180 people which brought much wanted business to Whyalla.
 
Winter is a great time to see Whyalla’s amazing mating displays of cuttlefish and their quirky behaviours. Thanks to prime conditions the Giant Australian Cuttlefish population has been thriving over the past few years. 

Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries Executive Officer Carl Charter 

The Giant Australian Cuttlefish is an exciting marine animal to observe, as it has striking colours and is around the size of the average family dog.
 
The cuttlefish visit the Point Lowly Peninsula and Cuttlefish Coast Sanctuary Zone annually during the winter to spawn and are one of the largest cuttlefish species known. Stony Point is the perfect spot to see cuttlefish because the waters are shallow with good visibility.
 
At first the sheer size and rapid colour-changes of these creatures is intimidating, yet after a few minutes you realise that they are oblivious to your presence. There is one thing on their mind – procreation. 
Quotes attributable to Member for Giles Eddie Hughes
 
The giant cuttlefish are an amazing sight – one which attracts visitors from around the country every winter, providing a boost for our local economy.
 
I encourage locals and visitors alike to make the most of the opportunity to get up-close-and personal with these marine animals and book one of the great EMS tours.

Media Contact

Callie Bryson
0478 346 495