Curious sea lion takes a liking to research material

Date: 1/10/2005

Marine specialist Helen Kettles  defended her clipboard from an over curious sea lion who took a liking to her research material when she was navigating her way around a rock face in the waters of the Foveaux Strait recently. Department of Conservation (DoC) marine scientist Ms Kettles and an experienced dive team plus a cameraman spent two weeks carrying out an extensive marine survey of the Foveaux Strait. The preliminary results are as fascinating as the practical component. Wave exposure had an influencing factor in what was able to live in different places and because the coast was so complex this meant a lot of variety. ‘You don’t expect the Caribbean and Foveaux Strait to have anything in common, that is until you get under the waves. The overall diversity of the (Foveaux Strait) rock walls ranks it amongst places like the eastern Caribbean. Another area of interest is Horseshoe Point. With an estimated 135 species, it ranks as one of the richest sites globally while Paterson Inlet was found to have the most unique collection of seaweeds in the country. The survey was part of a broad marine information gathering process being carried out by Southland Conservancy.

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