The Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean, which circles the globe without being blocked by land, is home to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the longest of the world's ocean currents. Also known as the "channel", it connects the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins and exerts a powerful influence over the Earth's climate. The ACC carries 150 times more water around Antarctica than the flow of all the world's rivers combined.
Weedy seadragons, Waterfall Bay
Within the kelp forests of Waterfall Bay it is possible to see one of southern Australia's most iconic marine animals, the weedy seadragon. It's also one of the hardest to find thanks to its weed-like appendages, making it perfectly camouflaged within the kelp.
The weedy seadragon, which grows up to 45cm in length, is related to the seahorse, although it differs slightly in that the male seadragon does not have a pouch in which to carry its eggs. Instead, eggs are attached to the underside of its tail. Unfortunately, the decline of kelp forests has had a knock-on effect on weedy seadragon populations and they are becoming increasingly rare.
|Importance:||The decline of giant kelp forests means that weedy seadragons are becoming harder to find. They were listed as 'near threatened' in 2006 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).|
|Dive category:||As with all kelp forest dives it is important to streamline equipment to ensure that it doesn't get caught on and damage the fragile kelp.|
|Access:||Living at between 3m and 50m depth within kelp, these highly camouflaged animals are very hard to find. The best way to spot them is by looking for their moving eyes.|
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