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Celebrate South Australia’s marine life for World Oceans Day

To celebrate World Oceans Day, learn about seven of the most popular marine creatures that live in SA’s waters.

Five major oceans connect our planet and make up 71 per cent of the earth’s surface.

South Australia borders on the Southern Ocean, which is home to the Great Southern Reef and gives Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef a run for its money.

Honour our blue planet this World Oceans Day, 8 June, by learning about the Southern Ocean’s marine creatures.

Here are seven marine animals you can spot in SA’s marine parks:

1. Rays

The oddly adorable ray is misunderstood by many. Fear has been instilled in people since the tragic death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin in 2006, but it’s actually rare to die from a ray injury.

The most popular species spotted in South Australian waters are the smooth raysouthern eagle raysouthern fiddler ray and coastal stingaree.

Here’s everything you need to know about rays in SA.


2. Giant Australian cuttlefish

Every winter thousands of giant Australian cuttlefish congregate in SA, off the coast of Whyalla in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park.

Swimming with them is an experience like no other.

Find out all you need to know to swim with giant cuttlefish in South Australia.

Image courtesy of Jamie Hicks

3. Whales

The annual migration of whales to SA waters occurs during the cooler months, which is when they mate, give birth and nurse their young.

SA whale migration starts in May and finishes in October.

Find out the top spots for whale watching.


4. Sharks

Most species of shark aren’t considered dangerous and shark attacks are much rarer than you think.

So calm any fears by learning about this amazing cartilaginous fish, starting with the ones in SA’s backyard.

Here are 5 sharks that visit South Australian waters.


5. Dolphins

SA’s marine parks are home to three dolphin species including the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphincommon bottlenose dolphin and short-beaked common dolphin.

 Find out five great spots to see dolphins in South Australia.


6. Leafy sea dragons

SA’s marine parks offer a chance to see these green and yellow-brown fragile creatures in the wild – truly a nature-based experience found nowhere else in the world.

Discover where and when to see SA’s leafy sea dragons.

A male leafy sea dragon carrying eggs (image courtesy of Carl Charter Photography)

7. Southern blue devil fish

It’s blue, has personalised markings, can live up to 60 years and is popular with underwater photographers.

Southern blue devils live around reefs and are common to SA’s waters, but can be found anywhere along Australia’s coast from southern Victoria through to Western Australia.

Find out where to dive to see blue devil fish in SA.


Love learning about SA’s underwater world? Find out what makes the Fleurieu Peninsula’s rocky reefs so special and how a shellfish reef is being built off the Yorke Peninsula. 


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