The Fab Five can be found in South Australia’s Commonwealth Marine Parks. They are five of SA’s ‘Fabulous’ charismatic species – the Australian sea lion, White-bellied sea eagle, Giant Australian cuttlefish, Great white shark and Southern right whale.

These Fab Five icons occur in SA’s seven Commonwealth Marine Parks. Australian Marine Parks help protect these species. Marine Parks are essential in conserving marine habitats. The Fab Five rely on those marine environments. All of them use, live in or migrate through South Australia’s Commonwealth Marine Parks.

Which of the Fab Five is your favourite? You can’t swim with most of them. Most of them can only be observed from a distance.

As Australia’s second biggest raptor (bird of prey), the White-bellied sea eagle can only be observed from a distance whilst it is in flight or resting.

You wouldn’t think of swimming with the apex predator the Great white shark except from the safety of a viewing cage off the coast of Port Lincoln.

You couldn’t swim with a large Southern right whale. They can only be observed from either the shore or from a boat or plane or helicopter.

Telescopes, binoculars or cameras with a zoom lens are needed to get a good view of Southern right whales or White-bellied sea eagles.

Australian sea lions may be encountered whilst swimming, but it is rare for anyone to be able to swim with the expectation of seeing one in the wild other than during an organised tour.

Giant Australian cuttlefish aggregate in upper Spencer Gulf near Whyalla each winter. You can dive or snorkel with the multitudes of cuttlefish for about 3 months> Although the water is at its coldest at this time, people say that it is all well worth it.

Whatever your favourite Fab Five creature may be, rest assured that South Australia’s 7 Commonwealth Marine Parks are helping to protect them all.

(Photos taken by Steve Reynolds, except Great white shark, taken by David Muirhead)

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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