How Much Do You Like Big Cuttlefish?

Photo from the Cephalopod Page
The reason I ask is the Giant Australian Cuttlefish, the world’s largest cuttlefish at 23lbs and near 4-5 ft long, may be facing a tougher future. Giant Australian Cuttlefish, Sepia apama, are confined to southern Australia between depths of 0m-100m. One of the largest breeding grounds for this species is Port Bonython which is being targeted by the mining industry for large deep-sea port to ship out billions of dollars of uranium, copper, gold and other minerals.
The state’s Chamber of Mines and Energy is lobbying Premier Mike Rann and senior ministers to develop Port Bonython because it is close to rail links. If the bid is successful, about 20 large ships a week will dock at the port compared with two at present and a 3km jetty would be built to handle the extra traffic…And if the expanded port did not kill off the species, a planned desalination plant – also for the mining industry and also for Port Bonython – would, Professor Gillanders said.

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

8 comments on “How Much Do You Like Big Cuttlefish?
  1. I do not have a bleeding heart, but they need to protect the habitat if it’s indeed one of their “main” breeding grounds. There are plenty of ports out there, can’t they just choose another?

  2. Here, I’ll do it this way. If you want the links and commentary, the whole thing is linked below. Please just delete the one in the approval queue.

    Australia is evidence: memories don’t last–
    They ought to have learned from mistakes in the past;
    The hull of a ship carries passengers, too
    (Ask any whose job is to clean off that goo–
    Green algae, and seaweeds, and mussels and such
    Which can kill off the locals–it doesn’t take much).
    This plan should be dropped like a really bad habit,
    If Aussies have learned from the tale of the rabbit;
    There’s a reason, you see, for the rabbit-proof fence:
    Once you bring bunnies hither, you can’t send them hence.
    They devastate flora, and quickly outbreed
    Their marsupial neighbors–a problem indeed.
    Or look to the waters at Port Philip Bay
    Where another invasive is living today;
    The Northern Pacific Sea Star is its name
    At that bay, there’s a full hundred million to blame
    For destroying the natives, both mollusks and corals–
    When species collide, we get more than mere quarrels.
    From foxes and cats, who are powerful killers,
    To carp and salvinia, waterway-fillers,
    From cane toads to mynas, to red fire ants,
    Once here it’s too late, so you can’t miss your chance.
    These cuttlefish giants are beautiful creatures
    (Just look at the picture! What beautiful features!)
    I hope that Port Bonython learns from the past
    And decides that they want their Austrialia to last;
    Ecosystems are fragile–we know they can break;
    I’m begging you–please don’t repeat your mistake.

  3. oh dear, this is calling for a spineless song parody of Sir Mix-a-Lot “I like big cuttlefish”

    As soon as the new home gets all in order…

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