Sharks and Rays

Did you hear about the extremely rare magpie fiddler ray Trygonorrhina melaleuca caught by fishermen in the Port River last week? There is a nice item about it on the ABC website (see link below), including an interview SARDI researcher Paul Rogers who is making some observations on the ray before releasing it back into the Port River at the request of the anglers who caught her.

Image from Fishes of Australia website (SA Museum specimen)

Image from Fishes of Australia website (SA Museum specimen)

This story is significant for many reasons.

1. This is a ray that has only ever been seen a few times before, and yet still exists – in the Port River – and we know so little about it!

2. It reminds us that there are many species that are unknown or not well understood, and that opportunities to learn more about them are valuable.

3. The anglers who caught the ray (from the Adelaide Game Fishers Club) recognised that they had caught something special, contacted SARDI and have requested that the ray be released back into the river.

4. It adds weight to the argument for protection of biodiversity in the Port River, which clearly supports some interesting species, despite being a busy industrial area.

 

 

Magpie ray story on ABC 891

There are a few types of eggs or egg masses that are easy to recognize on the beach. Considering how many marine animals actually lay eggs, it is a bit surprising how few we see regularly!

 

The egg mass produced by a couple of species of the moon snail (Polinices conicus and P sordidus) is often mistaken for a jellyfish. That’s because you can barely see the miniscule eggs, but they are held in a transparent, firm, sausage-shaped jelly matrix. They start to appear on the beach in spring.

The moon snail (Polinices sp) lays eggs in a jelly-like matrix.

 

Eggs mass of the moon snail – not a jellyfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squid eggs are also easy to recognize because they are soft, whitish and clumped together in a bunch.

A clump of squid eggs. There can be four or five eggs in each of the ‘fingers’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A slightly mangled Port Jackson Shark egg.

The most common shark egg cases we find locally are those of either the Port Jackson sharks or skates. They are dark brown, rubbery and shiny when fresh, but when hatched or dry become hard brittle. The Port Jackson shark egg case is spiral shaped, tapering from the base to the tip. Skate egg cases are shaped like small pillows, with tendrils on each corner.

 Continuing on with our chat with Featured speaker Sarah-Jo Lobwein and the work she does in regards to single use plastics #swapforthesea 2. Plastics - what can’t you avoid or still struggle with finding an alternative? . “Dried Dog food that’s not overly expensive (but recently found a brand that is meant to be home compostable packaging but will have to see if it passes my dog’s taste test!), potato and corn crisps (there seems to be alternative to all other snack packaging except for these) and CDs – I have always loved the joy of purchasing a new music CD and most come in plastic hard or paperboard plastic covered. Those three all have alternatives, but they are my naughty weaknesses. . The main struggle for me, as a someone who is gluten AND lactose intolerant AND travels to remote places, is sometimes I have to eat a lot of rice or just accept the plastic until I find a way to get the venue or place to change. Usually I take my own packaging with me and then bring it home to recycle, for example when I am home my bread comes in paper or reusable bags, but travelling I will take with me gluten free bread in plastic sealed bags.” . Plastic Free July example of a ready to go reusable kit you can have waiting by the door as you head out. . . . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent
 Continuing on with our chat with Featured speaker Sarah-Jo Lobwein and the work she does in regards to single use plastics #swapforthesea . 1. Plastics - what have become your favourite swap items? . “There are technological advancements and inventions, (or rediscoveries of what society used before we became addicted to plastic), all the time that amaze me – straws made out of wheat for example, and consumable soft bio plastic packaging of pasta made out of algae that we can just throw into boiling water etc. . But my favourites are the every day items – reusable, take your own or compostable straws, cutlery, takeaway containers, coffee cups, water bottles, shopping bags, paper bin bags and produce bags because they are so easy and accessible –humans were using them before plastic was invented or became prolific. The ones that reduce waste in general such reusable or not using an item at all is the best solution (such as not using a straw), and then compostable such as paper or bamboo. . Personally I can’t believe how empty my bins are once I phased out most plastics – I use the paper sandwich/ mushroom veggie bags or paper retail shopping bags for my bin and wash out the bin if it gets dirty (and there are businesses now that can come clean your bins!) - there is always an alternative.” . . . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent

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