Specialists conduct study on giant cuttlefish

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) is currently undertaking a study on giant cuttlefish.

A PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture spokesperson said the project was undertaken last year.

“The giant cuttlefish is an elusive species and little is known about its movements and migration patterns,” the spokesperson said.

“During the 2012 season a research project was undertaken by SARDI to develop a standard methodology for on-going integrated monitoring and assessment of the giant cuttlefish population abundance, habitat condition and water quality at the iconic Point Lowly aggregation site.”

The spokesperson said previous preliminary data indicated cuttlefish numbers declined in 2012 when compared to 2011.

However the results were inconclusive in being able to point out what caused the decline in cuttlefish at Point lowly.

The research looked at a variety of factors to identify or eliminate potential causes of species decline.

These included investigating the history of the spawning population, determining the relative effect of the environment such as water temperature and storm events, exploring predator and prey relationships and determining the influence of human activity such as coastal industry and fishing.

“SARDI’s work is still underway and the results of the research are still being collated,” the spokesperson said.

“To date research shows that the species experiences natural variations in population abundance and is highly dependant on environmental conditions such as water temperature.”

The spokesperson said the results of the report would help inform the whole government across agency cuttlefish working group which has been established to look at cuttlefish in the state.

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