Blue Planet II - Weedy Seadragons and Spider Crabs

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Blue Planet II - Weedy Seadragons and Spider Crabs

Postby diveshop » Sun, 08 Apr 2018 1:48 pm

Recently you may have been watching on Channel 9 the latest British nature documentary series on marine life Blue Planet II produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Like its predecessor, The Blue Planet (2001), it is narrated and presented by naturalist Sir David Attenborough,

Blue Planet II is now available in the shops on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray. And there is a local connection.

In episode 5, "Green Seas" you can see the Weedy Seadragons at Flinders Pier, plus the Giant Spider Crabs at Blairgowrie and Rye Piers.

A BBC Natural History Unit spent three weeks at Flinders Pier in January 2016 to get the footage used in episode 5 of the Weedy Seadragons. We assisted with airfills, plus O2 and sorb for their rebreathers. (Naturally quite a few members of the unit couldn't resist the temptations of our dive shop and purchased plenty of dive accessories.)

Then they came back in July 2016 to catch the Giant Spider Crabs at Blairgowrie Pier and Rye Pier, plus other places in between. Unfortunately they were a bit too late for the main moulting event that year, so a smaller unit came here in early June 2017 to get more footage.

Currently you can still see episode 5 on Channel 9Now, at

By the way, the Giant Spider Crabs have been gathering in numbers and are being sighted regularly at Blairgowrie Pier in recent weeks.

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Re: Blue Planet II - Weedy Seadragons and Spider Crabs

Postby lloyd_borrett » Mon, 09 Mar 2020 4:52 pm

As a result of the publicity from the BBC of this amazing event, last year we saw hordes of fishers preying on the Giant Spider Crabs, catching their daily limit of 30 crabs a day mostly by netting. It was not a good look, and these people did lots of damage to the marine growth on the pier and its walls.

The Giant Spider Crabs (Leptomithrax gaimardii) that aggregate in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia each May through June (as seen in this video) are totally different from the Japanese Giant Spider Crabs. While people report that the Japanese Giant Spider Crabs are great to eat, the ones in this video aren't. There is very little meat and they taste terrible, so it's not worth catching them.

Our research published last year found compounds in the meat of Giant Spider Crabs of Southern Australia cause erectile dysfunction (or impotence). See

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