Researchers believe that the population in the upper Spencer Gulf may be a separate species, and as the cuttlefish are believed to live for only 12 months, successful annual breeding is crucial to the survival of the species. Alerted to the low numbers by divers and locals, Conservation Council SA has called for urgent action to mitigate threats to this species to maximise survival until the next breeding aggregation in winter 2012.
We are pleased the Fisheries Minister has committed funding to a significant investigation into this problem, however immediate precautionary mitigation measures to maximise the survival of this year's cuttlefish population is critical.
Recently Conservation Council SA has called for a short term moratorium on fishing for giant Australian cuttlefish, to increase protection while the population is in serious decline, and until the cuttlefish numbers increase. Fisheries Minister Gago has confirmed that the temporary cephalopod fishing closure in False Bay will be made permanent.
Point Lowly has rock ledges suitable for cuttlefish egg attachment, which is rare in Spencer Gulf, making this location critical breeding habitat for the giant Australian cuttlefish. A number of current and future environmental challenges to this location have been identified.
CCSA is also working with the Spencer Gulf Prawn and West Coast Fishermen's Assoc to identify potential mitigation strategies to reduce incidental bycatch of giant Australian cuttlefish in their trawling operations.