Protecting the Giant cuttlefish
The Scuba Divers Federation of South Australia has established and is hosting the Cuttlefish Alliance to bring together organisations and individuals concerned about the lifting of the temporary fishing restrictions on the Giant Cuttlefish. We have 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 has been 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 include representatives from Whyalla Council, the dive industry, Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, SDFSA, and a scientist (cephalopod expert).
We need to recognise the reality of multiple stakeholders and users of the marine environment. If a wholesale ban on Cuttlefish fishing is 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. The Cuttlefish Alliance Advisory Committee will help us find a pathway to a good solution.