The not-for-profit organisation Reef Life Survey undertook their 10th Annual Rottnest Survey Weekend in May. The team dive the Island's waters to conduct surveys of fish and invertebrates within the Marine Reserve. The team consists of scientifically trained and committed volunteer SCUBA divers that undertake biodiversity monitoring of marine ecosystems using detailed, globally standardised methods.
The group were treated with favourable weather conditions, which was well deserved after the wild and stormy weather they persevered with in the previous year!
Thirteen divers in the water contributed over 580 volunteers hours over four days of diving. A total of 59 transects were surveyed at 18 sites.
Around 100 species were recorded during the fish surveys, and approximately 70 cryptic fish species. Cryptic fish are those that are small, camouflaged or closely associated with the bottom and often overlooked by divers not closely searching the reef surfaces.
Highlights included lobsters in abundance, more dhufish than ever in the last decade, and four blue groper (elusive in previous years). A rare Red Seaperch was recorded also, topping off an interesting and successful survey year.
For further information on the Marine Life, visit our website at http://wildlife.rottnestisland.com
All images taken by Rick Stuart-Smith, Reef Life Survey (http://reeflifesurvey.com/)