This long weekend, divers and snorkelers from Adelaide and Whyalla will unite to explore and photograph the biodiversity of Upper Spencer Gulf. The Whyalla Underwater Shootout will encourage young and old to explore the region’s rocky and artificial reefs, sandy bottoms, sea grass meadows and mangroves to show that there’s more to Whyalla’s waters than the Giant Australian Cuttlefish aggregation.
The event is hosted by the Marine Life Society of South Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which was founded 38 years ago. It will be the first of its kind for Whyalla, and for the organisation. MLSSA’s secretary, Dan Monceaux, was inspired to organise the event after exploring the region over many previous visits.
“The Giant Australian cuttlefish aggregation put Whyalla on the map for me over ten years ago- but the more I explored, the more interested I became in the region’s wider ecology.”
“We want to encourage visitors to Whyalla to explore the region’s unique marine biodiversity, and help locals to view it with fresh eyes. The event will be fun, relaxed and creative with an emphasis on exploration and discovery, not on ‘winning’… though there will be prizes awarded for several photo categories.”
The event starts Saturday morning and concludes at noon on Monday. The event also includes a celebration of World Oceans Day to be held at the Hotel Eyre on the night of June 8th with guest presentations at 8pm.
“The Whyalla community will have a chance for an early look at shots from the competition and to hear some expert presentations. Speakers will give short talks on underwater photography, reef monitoring and marine citizen science. It will be a great chance for people who aren’t participating in the competition to see some amazing creatures, learn a few things and socialise with fellow ocean-lovers.”
The Whyalla Underwater Shootout is free to enter for members of the Marine Life Society of SA, with new members welcome. Entry to the World Oceans Day event for non-members is by donation.