Join in this year's Sea Slug Census

A common sea slug nicknamed 'starry night' by the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre.
A common sea slug nicknamed 'starry night' by the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre.

Whether you are a diver, snorkeler or like hunting in rock pools, The Sea Slug Census is back again and needs your help.

Take a walk along the shore, or undertake an underwater search to contribute to the valuable scientific study of sea slugs along the Far South Coast.

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre (SCMDC) are excited to take part in the census each year and encourage anyone to join in the fun searching for sea slugs.

“We have seen so many nudis [nudibranches] lately, we may have even found a species way out of its distribution range which we found in a particular spot,” Kerryn Wood of the SMDC said. 

“According to experts, this new species are wide-spread to the Indo-Pacific, which we have never seen before.” 

The starry night, such an exquisite sight by the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre.

The starry night, such an exquisite sight by the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre.

The census period runs from Saturday, January 12 to Sunday January, 20 and covers the coastline from Batemans Bay in the north, to Nadgee Wilderness and Mallacoota in the south.

There will be opportunities for group surveys, led by experienced volunteers where sea slug explorers will head out on foot, surveying shores and rock pools, or snorkeling.

Or, if you would prefer venturing out on your own, you can conduct an independent survey. Choose a time and place that suits you. 

For dates and information visit the Atlas of Life website.

What is a sea slug?

Sea slug is the common name given to a large group of marine molluscs called 'nudibranchs'. They typically have exposed extensions of the body that serve as gills for gas exchange - hence the name 'nudi' (uncovered) and 'branch' (respiratory surface).

They can be as big as your hand, but are often much smaller - some as small as your fingernail, so not easy to see.

For more information on sea slugs and the census visit the Atlas of Life website.

The popular Bennett's sea slug found on the Far South Coast.

The popular Bennett's sea slug found on the Far South Coast.