SURG News

Posted: 2 months 1 week ago

A team of SURG members explored the lower reaches of Red Rock estuary last weekend, taking advantage of the clear water and perfect weather to better understand the areas ofcritical habitat. On Friday Tom Mair and Ian Shaw dived the high tide from the shop to the boat ramp, where they searched for threatened cod species, pipefish and seahorses. While there were two cod species sighted, both noted the absence of tropical species particularly the lack of butterfly fish, possibly due to the cool water temperature of 18 degrees. It was good to see large numbers of juvenile bream,... Read more

Posted: 3 months 4 days ago

In 2002 SURG members constructed an underwater trail made up of interpretive plinths. These plinths describe the landform and animals that inhabit the area around each plinth.

The plinths quickly build up algae and coral and need to be cleaned every year. This year most were in good shape. All were readable and none had moved so it was possible to follow the direction of the trail arrows.

The boat was full with 7 divers who quickly cleaned the plinths with scrapers and brushes. After the... Read more

Posted: 5 months 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: 5 months 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: 6 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: 7 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: 7 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: 8 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: 11 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: 1 year 1 month 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

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