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Cuttlefish numbers on the rise again

29 September 2015

There has been another increase in Giant Australian Cuttlefish numbers - the second annual consecutive rise in the species population.

The Giant Cuttlefish population in northern Spencer Gulf has 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.

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.

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.

The State Government has been investigating what caused the population decline in 2013 and the research is  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.

The Giant Australian Cuttlefish