Do you see anything down there?


For our April general meeting, we had guest speaker Jasmine Lyons, a member of the Underwater Explorers Club, deliver a presentation entitled ‘Do you see anything down there?’. Jasmine has a passion for diving, observing and taking photograph of marine life. While Jasmine is a qualified SCUBA Diver and has dived at many locations in WA, she explained that she currently enjoyed snorkeling and free diving close to shore at sites in Cockburn Sound and Shoalwater Marine Park.

The title of the presentation was prompted by the question she is frequently asked when encountering beach goers while heading in for a dive. Jasmine said that most people are unaware that there is an abundance of marine life to be viewed within a short distance of the shoreline. She told us that spots accessible from the shore to snorkelers include Point Peron Caves, Kwinana Grain Terminal, the Rockingham Wreck Trail, the Kwinana Bulk Jetty, the Ammunition Jetty, and Robb’s Jetty. The title slide included a lovely photo of a Weedy Sea dragon, a seasonal visitor to the areas mentioned. Her next slide entitled ‘A home for critters’, showed Algae growth on pylons etc., and the next slide showed the various types of Anemones to be seen. Slides that followed showed crabs and crayfish such as Blue Swimmer Crab, Decorator Crab and Western Rock Lobster.

Then came the cephalopods, cuttlefish, and octopus, which are masters of camouflage and that can instantly change colour. Jasmine explained that you find them by spotting their eyes. It took several slides to show a selection of the many species of fish to be seen, including Leatherjacket, Cobbler, Butterfish and King George Whiting. Then followed a slide showing images of seahorses. Jasmine explained that they are relatively common but are hard to see as they are well camouflaged to blend in with seaweed growth on rocks and pylons. Nudibranchs and flatworms were next. They come in a variety of sizes with many different species including some exotics that have been introduced with ballast water. The next slide lumped together species that are not fish, such as sand dollars, starfish, sea squirt, and a chrinoid sitting in a Grey Sea Fan. The penultimate slide showed a Striped Stingaree, a baby eel, a jelly fish and a cone jelly. The last slide showed images taken around the Point Peron Caves.

In summary Jasmine explained that the reefs, jetties, and wrecks around Rockingham are full of marine life and each dive is almost guaranteed to find something different. The members of the audience gave Jasmine a round of applause for her very informative presentation.

Colin Prickett