Prior to 2010 weedy seadragons could still be found in reasonable numbers within CTBAR, then they disappeared suddenly. Whilst water temperatures may have appeared to have increased slightly the annual fluctuations between 14-23 degrees is typical for their range. Their food source, mysid shrimps, remain in abundance, so what caused their rapid decline. They are now extremely rare within the reserve, whilst still common in other areas of Sydney. Having spent close to 20 hours diving systematically looking specifically for this species I have only found 3 individuals, whereas previously you could almost guarantee seeing several in certain locations on a single dive.
Was it disease, or illegal collecting, or maybe some other condition such as water quality that caused their demise?
Whilst I may not be taking more photos in Cabbage Tree Bay for a while, if you take a good quality photo of a fish not here please send me your name, date the photo was taken, depth, and approximate location e.g near swimming pool, Eastern reef, etc I will publish them.
There are still loads of fish that I have seen in the reserve that I haven’t photographed yet so please contribute and make this a more complete record
Most of the photos are now loaded. Let me know of any improvements you’d like to see on the site, any errors, typos, etc.
There will be a page coming soon with fish I have yet to identify so look out for that one as any assistance would be appreciated.
Two years ago after finally getting an underwater housing for a digital camera, I commenced a project to photograph as many species as I can find within the Aquatic Reserve at Cabbage Tree Bay, in Manly, Sydney. I’m often asked about it and whether I publish anything so in the interests of doing so I thought I’d start sharing some of my favourite photos of the 300 or so species that can be found there.