WATER WONDER: One of the brightly colour nudibranch sea slugs found at Minnie Water.
WATER WONDER: One of the brightly colour nudibranch sea slugs found at Minnie Water. Lizzie Hardaker.

SCU scientists slug it out in the south

SOUTHERN Cross University (SCU) researchers from the National Marine Science Centre at Korora have added another address to their amazing sea slug census.

Professor Steve Smith has coordinated 28 census events at seven locations along Australia's eastern seaboard since December 2013 and now can add a Victorian site to the list.

A team of volunteer scuba divers has been beneath the waters of Port Phillip Bay and Westernport to search the seabed for a small but colourful group of marine life in the inaugural Melbourne Sea Slug Census.

"Melbourne is fantastic new location for the census and I'm excited to work with local amateur and professional underwater photographers,” Professor Smith said.

"The sea slug census is an opportunity for people to contribute to marine research and learn more about their local marine environment.”

Sea slugs, which include nudibranchs known as underwater butterflies, are often brightly-coloured and range from 4mm to 40cm in size.

They are invertebrates and important indicators of environmental change.

Professor Smith and his SCU researchers teamed up with the Victorian National Parks Association's ReefWatch program to stage the census last weekend.



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