Cuttlefish draw huge numbers

Around 300 people ventured into the icy waters of Stony Point on the weekend to catch a glimpse of the wonderfully unique Great Australian Cuttlefish.

CuttleFest 2020, an annual festival of cuttlefish-themed activities, is well and truly underway in Whyalla with snorkles/dives run by both Whyalla Diving Services and Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries being huge attractions.

Visitors from as far as Adelaide travelled down for the weekend, and were greeted by thousands of the eye-catching marine mammals.

The Whyalla Royal Flying Doctors Support Group were onsite providing the divers with hot coffee and a sausage sizzle while CuttleFest Mascot Spencer proved very popular with the crowds.

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said the cuttlefish aggregation was an 'enormous' tourism event for the city that was a big boost to the economy.

"It's a win for the areas of hospitality and retail and brings people from all over the world to Whyalla,' she said.

"CutteFest is growing bigger and bigger every year so it's extremely important that we protect the cuttlefish."

Whyalla Visitor Centre Manager Teresa Coles estimated the number of cuttlefish aggregating to Stony Point was around 200,000.

"They're quite close to the shoreline, it's a really easy snorkel or dive to do. The divers were seeing such amazing scenes that diving into that cold water was worth it," she said.

"The cuttlefish is something to celebrate because they are so unique, people are coming down for as much as four days and then continuing down the coast line to enjoy more attractions down the Eyre Peninsula.

"People are talking about Whyalla in such a positive way and it's a great story to be telling."

Other CuttleFest activities on dry land include:

  • School holiday program at the Maritime Museum - Cuttlefish Capers
  • The Cuttlefish Art Prize open for entries
  • ISO lantern workshops have begun
  • Self guided Art Trail throughout Whyalla
  • Citizen Science activities for individuals and school groups.

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