Today a team of volunteer divers from the Terrigal Underwater Group (TUG) started a
survey of marine fish on the Central Coast. The divers spent the day in the waters off
Terrigal training to become part of NPA~Marine's CoastKeepers Fish Survey program. "TUG make a great addition to the CoastKeepers Fish Survey project,” said Dave Roe,
CoastKeepers Coordinator at the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA). “We have
Fish Survey groups from Coffs Harbour to Narooma, but this will be the first time the
Central Coast has been surveyed as part of this project.
TUG will use the CoastKeepers Fish Survey to monitor the impacts on fish populations
of the HMAS Adelaide, due to be sunk later this year. Working with Dr Bill Gladstone of
The University of Newcastle, the divers will monitor how fish populate the wreck and the
effects of the wreck on fish living on nearby reefs. This is the first time that such research
has taken place and will provide valuable information on the benefits to fish populations
of artificial reefs.
"CoastKeepers Fish Surveys monitor population size and distribution of 50 NSW marine
fish including sharks, stingarees and moray eels. CoastKeepers forwards the data to
marine managers who use it to track changes to fish populations. In this way local dive
groups are using their dive skills to help care for the NSW marine environment.”
CoastKeepers builds on the huge success of HarbourKeepers, the community volunteer
program that offers regular activities to protect, restore and explore Sydney Harbour.“CoastKeepers dive groups also complete underwater clean up dives and aquatic weed
monitoring whilst land-based volunteers can join activities such as bush regeneration,
foreshore clean ups and educational events."
“We are looking for existing groups as well as individuals to join CoastKeepers,”CoastKeepers offers diverse ways for the community to contribute to conserving the
NSW coast such as counting seahorses on its seafloor, removing rubbish from its
beaches and planting trees on its islands."