Posted: 1 month 1 day ago

Despite the cooler May water temperature Manta Rays can still be seen at North West Solitary Island. Two Mantas, which were approximately 2 metres across, circled the SURG research divers for half an hour. The photos of the undersides detailing their identifying marks have been sent to Project Manta for identification.

... Read more

Posted: 1 month 2 days ago

SURG research has found a significant number of corals which suffered bleaching in 2016 never recovered.

In 2016 the significant bleaching event resulted in total loss of colour in branching corals located on South Solitary Island and South West Solitary Island.

Over the past year SURG has conducted research trips to monitor the effects of this bleaching event on individual corals and the coral communities. Using underwater photography... Read more

Posted: 2 months 1 day ago

The 2016 – 2017 progress report into estuarine habitat resilience has again shown the commitment of SURG and community members in identifying fish species in our estuaries, the health of our estuaries and seagrass habitats, hazards to our estuaries such as discarded fish traps and garbage and remediation and community education strategies.

Discarde d fish traps
Thirty discarded fish traps were found in Coffs and Boambee Creeks. GPS marks were recorded and given to NSW Fisheries who removed these traps.

Strandline clean-up
Strandline... Read more

Posted: 3 months 1 week ago

SURG is currently doing a huge amount of estuarine research but little research related to open water diving. So to keep our members in the water and diving with fellow SURG divers, the club has been subsidising dives. This subsidy is in appreciation for the amount of effort many contribute to the running of the club.

Last Sunday was the first subsidised dive of the year with 12 enthusiastic members heading out to South Solitary Island. The first dive was at Buchanan's wall and the second a drift from the Shark Gutters to the Gantry. With visibility at 15 to 20 meters, a warm 24... Read more

Posted: 3 months 1 week ago

Thirty two SURG members and friends spent Clean up Australia Day cleaning up Coffs Creek. The members collected 30 bags of rubbish weighing 1/2 ton, from just 400 metres of creek bank. The debris collected was categorised according to material and use and then counted. This data will be used in two projects. The first is the collection of data over a 3 to 4 year period along the same section of the creek and using the same protocols. This is the second year of the project. The second use of the data is to evaluate the impact of the NSW container deposit scheme on the quantity of litter in... Read more

Posted: 4 months 1 week ago

SURG members participated in a successful sea grass critter search at Boambee Creek on Sunday. Nineteen members keenly donned snorkelling gear and paddled along the creek in search of seahorses, pipefish and other threatened or protected marine species. With the water... Read more

Posted: 7 months 3 weeks ago

The National Marine Science Centre hosted a Coral Bleaching Workshop on Thursday 27th October. Nicola Fraser, Ian Shaw and Bob Edgar attended as SURG representatives and the results of SURG's series of coral health surveys were among the presentations on the day. Scientists from institutions including James Cook University, the University of Queensland, Southern Cross University, University of Sydney, and NSW DPI compared notes about the recent coral bleaching event.

The outlook for the far northern region of the GBR is bleak. Professor Terry Hughes and a research assistant from... Read more

Posted: 9 months 3 weeks ago

The Environmental Trust has given the green light for the second stage of the SURG estuarine project, Community action blueprint to enhance estuarine habitat resilience . This has followed the Trust's review of the first stage, which they found to have made good progress against the project's objectives.

The Trust's feedback was extremely positive, in particular the level of engagement with the public and volunteers and the detail of monitoring and evaluation.

Specific mention was also made of the "important information on the threat to vulnerable species posed by... Read more

Posted: 1 year 1 month ago

This year marks 25 years since the area surrounding the Solitary Islands was first gazetted as a Marine Reserve, to later become known as the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP). To mark the occasion, celebrations were held with many guest speakers drawn from user groups, stakeholders, and the scientists who originally recognised the unique attributes of the Solitary Islands, telling their stories to a large audience at Coffs Harbour Surf Club. At times moving, other times very funny, the stories flowed continually during the day long session.

SURG the organisation has been around... Read more

Posted: 1 year 2 months ago

With all the talk of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and, closer to home, in the Solitary Islands, it is good to know that some corals are healthy and seem to be thriving among their bleached relatives.

Acropora sp . corals, among some others, appear to have been able to withstand local conditions, so far at least, and there are some excellent examples at all of the usual offshore island locations.

... Read more