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Q&A with a Perth Redmapper: never saw that as a kid!

Yvette Barry, 11 Apr 2016.

Hugh Richardson is an avid diver, travelling up and down the coast in search of WA's best dive spots. He's also a Redmap member and has logged some unusual sightings online.

  • Hugh logged this photo of a roundface batfish (Platax teira) on Redmap. The batfish was spotted near Bunbury. We ask people to log any sightings of batfish below Dampier in northern WA.

  • Hugh diving in a cave at Rottnest Island, WA. The fish include sweep, bulls-eye and wrasse.

  • A common lionfish (Pterois volitans) spotted by Hugh on Rottnest Island - well south of its usual distribution

How long have you been diving? 21 years

What's your favourite dive spot in WA and why?
Rowley Shoals (atoll-like coral reefs 260km west of Broome) for its pristine conditions and great variety of marine life. Also: Dampier Archipelago, Ningaloo, Abrolhos, Rottnest Island and Bremer Bay!

What’s been your favourite fish to spot on a dive?
Coral fish in the Indonesian Archipelago – especially their colour and balance with other species in the coral and sponge habitat. But also turtles and nudibranchs (sea slugs).

What’s your favourite memory of the sea when you were a kid?
Fishing with my brother in the Swan River before pufferfish reached plague proportions. And paddling the shoreline at Rocky Bay, Rottnest, to see the lobster feelers waving from under a ledge in shallow water.

What do you do when you’re not in the water?
I’ve been a mechanical engineer, operations research manager, long-term planning consultant, corporate financial planner, business consultant... and then retired. Now I’m a city Councillor working to preserve an inner-city wetland!

What species have you logged on Redmap?
A common lionfish (Pterois volitans) at Rottnest Island - well out of its usual territory! And a roundfaced batfish (Platax teira) around the Lena wreck, Bunbury.

What are some of the changes you’ve seen in your local seas over the years?
The increase in tropical fish in local waters is an obvious one! I find the lionfish and batfish to look quite out-of-place, not having seen them as a young person. Similarly turtles this far south! Marine health: loss of seagrass meadows around Fremantle, with their habiting species.

See Hugh’s sightings and Redmap profile here.

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