Protecting the Giant cuttlefish in South Australia

The Scuba Divers Federation of South Australia established and is hosting the Cuttlefish Alliance to bring together organisations and individuals concerned about the lifting in 2020 of the temporary fishing restrictions on the Giant Cuttlefish. We set up a Facebook page for the Cuttlefish Alliance to gather and share information, petitions, and campaigns to encourage PIRSA to reconsider restrictions on fishing for Giant Cuttlefish. An Advisory Committee was convened to prepare recommendations to take to PIRSA, based on science and the value of the Giant Cuttlefish migration to the economy of Whyalla and South Australia. Members of the Committee included representatives from Whyalla Council, the dive industry, Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, SDFSA, and a scientist (cephalopod expert).
At the time, we noted the need to recognise the reality of multiple stakeholders and users of the marine environment, and considered that if a wholesale ban on Cuttlefish fishing was not possible, we might find a compromise — improved and consistent monitoring of cuttlefish populations, and enforced exclusion zones at certain times of year, especially during the mating/migration season. With the change in State government, a total ban on Cuttlefish takes was imposed in 2022 for the area of the Spencer Gulf north of a line between Arno Bay and Wallaroo. The ban is in place to 13 May 2023. The SDFSA will continue to monitor the situation.