Cuttlefish ban made permanent in SA’s Upper Spencer Gulf to protect unique ecological show – ABC News

Cuttlefish ban made permanent in SA's Upper Spencer Gulf to protect unique ecological show - ABC News

The South Australian government has made a ban on cuttlefish fishing in the Upper Spencer Gulf permanent to protect a one-of-a-kind breeding event. 

The ban prohibits all fishing for Australian giant cuttlefish in a line north of Arno Bay and Wallaroo.

The ban is meant to protect the annual cuttlefish migration when hundreds of thousands of cuttlefish gather at Point Lowly near Whyalla to breed and lay their eggs. 

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven said the migration was ecologically unique and an important tourism event for the region. 

“It is just an amazing natural phenomenon; it’s been a great drawcard for the Whyalla region,” she said. 

“Because it is globally unique, people come from all over the world to see it.”

Cuttlefish aggregation numbers reached a historic low of approximately 13,000 in 2013, prompting the initial ban.()

Whyalla dive shop owner Tony Bramley said he was happy to see the ban being made permanent and that it gave him assurance his business would be viable long term. 

“It’s the final assurance that we’ve got as much protection as possible for this absolutely important cuttlefish aggregation,” he said. 

The cuttlefish ban was originally introduced by the previous state government in 2013 after cuttlefish numbers for the migration dropped to approximately 13,500 — down from 120,000 in 2009. 

Whyalla dive shop owner Tony Bramley says at one point cuttlefish numbers were so low he was worried the cuttlefish aggregation was doomed.()

Within two years of the ban being in place, the number of cuttlefish had jumped to more than 130,000. 

Mr Bramley said when cuttlefish numbers were low, he was worried the aggregation would not survive. 

“I really did think back in 2013 the aggregation was lost,” he said. 

“There’s nothing else like it anywhere, and we’ve always taken it for granted until recently when the numbers were under threat.”

The ban was removed in 2020 by the previous state government but was re-instated temporarily last year. The temporary ban was set to expire in May before being made permanent.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *