Sydney Sea Slug Census II


The second Sydney Sea Slug Census will be held on Saturday 19th November 2016, 12am-11.59pm. Dive 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
  • You need an underwater camera 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 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 24 hour period on the 19th November 2016 (12am-11.59pm) 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 moc.l1519226256iamg@1519226256gulsa1519226256esyen1519226256dys1519226256 by Sunday 27th November 2016 (emails should give the names of the dive team and dive sites)


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 document compiled by Prof. Steve Smith of National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), Southern Cross University NSW.




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


Abyss Scuba Diving is providing free air fills to all registered participants on the day. The free air fills must be redeemed on the same day of the census or the day after (if census is done on a night dive) – Sat 19 Nov and Sun 20 Nov 2016.


Australian Marine Sciences Association NSW is sponsoring a book prize for Most Interesting Species Found on the day.

Social gathering

Tea and snacks will be provided on the grass area behind the dive site entry at Bare Island. Census participants will gather here as well for lunch and to socialise, food and coffee can be purchased from the cafe nearby.

Parking & Bare island Dive site entry

Arrive early to ensure you get a good parking spot close to the dive site entry. Read more about Bare Island dive sites on Abyss website.


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.
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