Showing posts from April, 2014

Scuba Video of Manta Rays off Point Lookout

This video taken while scuba diving at Manta Bommie, just off Point Lookout was submitted by a recent visitor to North Stradbroke Island.

Manta Bommie is a good site to see the mantas up close, as they come in from the deeper water to this well known cleaning station, and the little cleaner wrasse get to work removing parasites and dead skin from the mantas. You can see a couple of the cleaners going into the mouth of the larger manta from about 1:00 into the video.

This was a very surreal experience, the mantas are a bit spooky and it took some time before they would approach us, while we waited on the bottom. After a few minutes it seemed like their curiosity took over, and they came much closer to check us out. At one point, the larger manta got so close that I had to pull the camera out of its way.

The larger one was about 3.5 metres wide, the smaller one about 2 metres.

This species (manta alfredi, or reef manta) can grow as large as 5.5 metres wide!

Sibelco breaches bushfire prevention undertakings

The serious risks to human life, property and to flora and fauna associated with out of control bushfires on North Stradbroke are obvious.

The miners’ Environmental Studies Report (2003), required before mining could commence under Queensland law at the Enterprise mine acknowledges the risks:-

“Bushfires frequently occur on North Stradbroke Island as a result of both natural (eg lightning strikes) and human induced events (eg arson). Periodic low intensity fires are essential for the reproduction processes of many native vegetation communities on the island. However high intensity or unnaturally frequent fires can result in loss of property, human life and significant harm to native flora and fauna communities” (ESR section 3.2.6)
Considering its enormous profits are derived from mining and permanently damaging an internationally recognised, sensitive sand island, most people are likely to consider that Sibelco should strictly comply with its bushfire obligations. Its mining leases s…

Bushfire – The Aftermath & Photos of Recovery

Stradbroke is no stranger to bushfire. We all have our recollections of fires of past years, power cuts and close shaves. Many an interesting conversation on the island gets on to how different areas are recovering: Blue Lake regenerated quickly after the fire of ’95, but the slopes near the S-Bends had bare trunks visible for many years. But the fierce 2014 fire will go down in history and will, we hope, be a turning point in the adoption of proper fire management strategies for the island.