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Cooloola Underwater Biodiversity Assessment (continued) | 4K video and species list

Following the success of the first look underwater in Tin Can Bay (CUBA – Cooloola Underwater Biodiversity Assessment) and some of the problems that study highlighted, we were again fortunate to receive an Environment Levy Grant from Gympie Regional Council thanks to Cooloola Coastcare.

This project (CUBA3) was designed to further investigate each of the creeks entering the system to see where the best and worst affected areas might be.

We also focused on mooring and anchoring areas to determine the extent of damage being done.

The above video is the best 2mins 45secs out of more than 7hrs of footage shot over more than 24hrs underwater. Glimmers of hope in a severely impacted system.

UPDATE: Grateful to be interviewed on a couple of the local radio stations:

ABC Wide Bay radio

ABC Sunshine Coast radio

Questions and comments welcome…

—Josh

Shot List and Species Names

Time What
0:00 Aerial footage at dawn over much of the study area
0:10 Me in the mangroves of Teewah (Crab Creek) dawn
0:14 One of the rare cases of crab pots being used properly (and legally); containing bream (Acanthopagrus australis), Butterbream (Monodactylus argenteus), and mud crabs (Scylla serrata); at Crab Creek
0:17 Smooth flutemouth (Fistularia commersonii) over a rare patch of nice seagrass between moorings in Snapper Creek
0:20 Unidentified pebble crab (Leucosia sp. 1) with a young soft coral (Dendronephthya sp.)
0:24 Pair of New Caledonian Maskrays (Neotrygon trigonoides) over that same nice patch of seagrass
0:31 Half-asleep Coral grouper (Epinephelus corallicola, possibly E. malabaricus) startled
0:36 Scattered school of half-asleep Common Hardyheads (Atherinomorus vaigiensis)
0:39 A juvenile Butterbream (Monodactylus argenteus) cruising through the mangroves (Rhizophora stylosa)
0:43 Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) covered in barnacles (Chelonibia testudinaria), his left eye blinded by one
0:48 Turtle barnacles (Chelonibia testudinaria) feeding optimally as the turtle cruises, creating apparent current
0:54 Mosaic sea snake (Aipysurus mosaicus) gets a visit from a Common silver biddy (Gerres subfasciatus)
0:58 Coral swimmer crab (Charybdis feriatus) hiding under the stinging tentacles of a Tube anemone (Cerianthus sp.)
1:02 Olive-headed seasnake (Hydrophis major) wrapped around a twisted mooring chain
1:05 Queensland groupers (Epinephelus lanceolatus)
1:08 Flagfin shrimpgoby (Mahidolia mystacinus) keeping a lookout for its busy housekeeping shrimp (Alpheus sp.)
1:12 Fragile seastar (Luidia australiae) cruising over typically barren sandy bottom
1:15 A horde of feeding Golden trevally (Gnathodentex speciosus)
1:17 Lumpy brown nudibranch (Dendrodoris gunnamatta) cruising through silty stuff
1:20 Rare patch of biodiversity and fishiness in typically soupy water on coffee rock structure. Fish include Moorish idol (Zanclus cornutus), Barred soapfish (Diploprion bifasciatum), Longfin bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus), Crested morwong (Cheilodactylus vestitus), and Bengal sergeant (Abudefduf bengalensis)
1:25 The skittish Australian butterfly ray (Gymnura australis) was a highlight and a surprising discovery
1:36 Yellow-striped hermit crab (Clibanarius taeniatus) having a feed
1:39 Banded eyestalk hermit crab (Dardanus pedunculatus)
1:43 Immaculate goby (Valenciennea immaculata)
1:46 All too common derelict crab pot acts as habitat for sponges and juvenile fish: Stripey (Microcanthus strigatus), Dusky rabbitfish (Siganus fuscescens), Grass emperor (Lethrinus laticaudis), Striped cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus fasciatus), and a lingering deathtrap for larger animals
1:50 Derelict crab pot acts as habitat for juvenile fish: Dusky rabbitfish (Siganus fuscescens), Grass emperor (Lethrinus laticaudis), and Striped cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus fasciatus) are all small enough to swim through the mesh… for now
1:53 Fairly common shallow and heavily encrusted Eel grass (Halodule uninervis) [left] and slightly healthier though more sparse Miniature dugong grass (Halophila minor)
1:56 Ridiculously long mooring chain destroying a couple of acres of what was once an oyster bed; Teewah anchorage
2:00 Nicely encrusted mooring rope up off the bottom; Snapper Creek
2:03 An endangered Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) doing a runner
2:07 Fishy patch of coffee rock in Snapper Creek, with Stripey (Microcanthus strigatus), Moses perch (Lutjanus russelli) and Painted sweetlips (Diagramma picta)
2:09 Striking seastar (Euretaster insignis) cruising over the most common [yet unidentified] pink sponge
2:12 The probable inspiration for Spielberg’s E.T.: the Three-bar porcupinefish (Dicotylichthys punctulatus)
2:14 Red spot box crab (Calappa philargia) running over typically apocalyptic silty nothingness
2:17 The Hairy swimmer crab (Charybdis natator) saying “I’ll ‘av ya!”
2:20 Logs dropped off barges a hundred years ago, now swarming with life: Stripey (Microcanthus strigatus), Moses perch (Lutjanus russelli), and Blubberlips (Plectorhinchus gibbosus)
2:22 Olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis) heading to the surface for a breath

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Comments & Questions

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Lynn

That is just amazing.. we are regular booties in the tin can Bay Area, our boat is safely moored in the marina, but we do use a chain when staying at bird rock in tbar creek.. it is the most beautiful spot, and I would be interested in your advice re safe, sustainable procedures

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