While they’re protected under the Commonwealth Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act, evidence suggests seadragon numbers are falling. The World Conservation Group has classed the seadragon as “near threatened” on its Red List of threatened species.
The plan is to conduct detailed surveys of weedy seadragons living along the rocky reef at Kurnell. In April the first group of “researchers” donned scuba gear and got to work, underwater cameras in hand.
The Seadragon survey day starts at 9:30am with some basic training on how to spot, sex photograph and make basic observations of the seadragons. The divers are broken up into teams of 5 and then we heat out to Captain Cook Park at Kurnell and do 2 dives. During the dive the divers record the location of the seadragons they observe and take photos of tell-tale markings on their flanks. The dorsal spots are like fingerprints, and these identification photographs are used to identify individuals and monitor them over time.
Abyss Scuba Diving runs regular Free divemaster escorted shore dives in locations where seadragons can be seen on a regular basis. For those who would like to get more actively involved in helping to find out more about the weedy seadragon the Weedy Seadragon Survey is a perfect way to do it. If you want to get involved then check out the Sydney Diving Calendar or simply book on for the next seadragon survey. Please note, numbers are limited.