ascidian3250aRecording the marvels of Cape Byron Marine Park, such as this ascidian (or sea squirt, photographed by John Natoli) online has become a passionate pastime for a number of locals in the area.

Cape Byron Marine Park manager Andrew Page said he was thrilled to see the marine park establish a strong online presence. He said websites such as the Julian Rocks site, which is managed by diver Lynda Clarke, were accessible to everyone and served not only as an educational tool but as a comprehensive guide to the inhabitants of the marine park.

“The images on the Julian Rocks website at www.julianrocks.net include photographs of over 530 species – all taken around Julian Rocks which is a marine sanctuary within the park,” he said.

“The development of the Julian Rocks website has been supported by the marine park and includes photos from divers and naturalists who have contributed hundreds of images. I encourage everyone to have a look at these fascinating and very beautiful photos.

“The site contains descriptions and interesting details about the residents of the Cape Byron Marine Park including, sharks, rays, turtles, eels, starfish, corals and many of the more cryptic critters that you need a keen eye and lot of patience to capture on film.”

Mr Page said underwater photographer Denis Reik’s website was another amazing new media journey into the deep.

“Denis spends much of his spare time in the water photographing tiny marine organisms living in the shallow water of the Brunswick River, a habitat protection zone within Cape Byron Marine Park,” he said.

“Every time Denis enters the water we are provided with a better picture of the complexity of the marine ecosystem we need to manage. Denis is always adding to the catalogue of marine life whose home is in Cape Byron Marine Park.

“Colourful nudibranchs (sea slugs), sea snails, shrimps, crabs, corals, starfish, anemones, octopus, flat worms, sea squirts and sponges are just some of the huge range of species living in the Brunswick River that Denis has photographed.”

The catalogue and photos Denis has taken can be viewed on his website at www.roboastra.com

For more information contact the Cape Byron Marine Park on Ph (02) 6620 9300 or check the website of the Marine Parks Authority, www.mpa.nsw.gov.au

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: I have a favourite (secret) snorkelling spot south of Byron Bay and I’m constantly amazed at the fish life I see. I’ve been snorkelling there for more than 15 years, and just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes something ‘new’. One of those moments came recently: it was not a big fish, but a real stunner — brilliant golden yellow with a white bar and black spot near the tail. I checked the book I use to identify species, but it wasn’t there. But the Julian Rocks site has identified it. Check out John Anoli’s picture. I am glad I’ve found the Julian Rocks and Brunswick River websites — I’m now using it to identify all those fish species I see but can’t identify!