Sydney Sea Slug Census III


The third Sydney Sea Slug Census will be held from 12am on Sat 18th Nov until 11.59pm on Sun 19th Nov 2017. Dive/snorkel site scope is Sydney ; Geographic range from Port Hacking to Pittwater inclusive, with Bare Island as the main census site.


It is well recognised that passionate, informed volunteer scuba divers (citizen scientists) can contribute valuable information to document the biodiversity of the world's oceans and consequently help promote their sustainable management.

Did you know sea slugs make very good indicators of climate change because they are highly visible, have short lives, and are (relatively) easy to identify?

Despite their common name, sea slugs probably arouse more passion among scuba divers than many other animal groups with nudibranch images posted to social media sites and dominating many post-dive conversations. Most sea slugs are highly colourful, not very mobile, and plentiful in the Sydney area; so why not join in and record the variety of species in this area?

URG has joined forces with Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre to research the important role community volunteers can play in recording and identifying sea slug diversity in Sydney, in this case scuba divers and snorkelers.


  • You must be a certified scuba diver to dive OR if you are not a certified scuba diver, you can participate as a snorkeler.
  • You need an underwater camera (or waterproof camera for snorkeler) or you dive with someone who has an underwater camera
  • You can participate as an individual or as part of a dive team

Census Guideline

  • Dive/snorkel site scope is Sydney ; Geographic range from Port Hacking to Pittwater inclusive, with Bare Island as the main census site
  • Take one photo of each species of sea slug you find in 48 hour period from 12am on 18th Nov until 11.59pm 19th Nov within the dive site scope above. You don't need to identify the slugs, just take their photos!
  • Crop the photos around the sea slug so it is nice and clear. Shrink the images to around 640×480 pixels so they are nice and small.
  • Download this form, fill it in and email it together with your photos to by Sunday 26th November 2017 (emails should give the names of the dive team and dive sites)



Prizes are sponsored by Adreno Scuba Diving Centre in Alexandria:


  1. 2x $100 Adreno gift voucher for each of the buddy pair with Most Species Found
  2. $100 Adreno gift voucher for Best Photo
  3. $100 free Adreno airfill voucher for each participant who submitted their photo result by Sunday 26th November 2017.


To help hone your identification skills, and to alert you all to some of the species you may have overlooked in the past, please download the Sydney SSC I and Sydney SSC II report compiled by Prof. Steve Smith of National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), Southern Cross University NSW.

Parking & Bare island Dive site entry

Arrive early to ensure you get a good parking spot close to the dive site entry.


Registration Form


  1. I understand and state that I am physically and mentally capable and trained to participate successfully in open sea condition diving.
  2. I have no medical condition that would affect my ability to safely dive and I am not taking any medication that has not been approved by my physician for diving. I will not be under the effect of alcohol or drugs when I am diving during the Sydney Sea Slug Census event.
  3. I will not fly within 24hrs from surfacing after my last dive during the Sydney Sea Slug Census event.
  4. I will listen to all briefings and seek advice if I don’t understand any part of the brief.
  5. I take the responsibility for checking the safe and correct operation of my dive equipment prior to diving. I will carry and know how to use the following: surface marker buoy (SMB) and dive computer.
  6. I take responsibility for the planning of my dive.
  7. I have clearly read and fully understand the contents of all the points contained in this Diver Statement.