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Swim with the Sharks at Ricketts Point

Home > Melbourne > Beaches | Animals and Wildlife | Environment | Escape the City | Family | Fun Things To Do | Nature
by Debbie Lustig (subscribe)
My work has been published in The Age, The Herald-Sun, The Australian, The Big Issue, Australian Birdlife, The Bark (USA), Eureka Street, Overland and The Australian Jewish News.
Published February 3rd 2012
Banjo shark, or fiddler ray

You don't have to be a thrillseeker to come face to face with wild sharks. At Ricketts Point near Beaumaris, in southeast Melbourne, snorkellers and divers regularly see summer visitors, Port Jackson sharks - up to 1.6 metres long - and one-metre banjo sharks.
Port Jackson shark

Banjos are particularly beautiful fish, with yellowish-brown bodies decorated with blue-grey bands. They are non-aggressive and you can get great views of them as they squat calmly on the sea floor.

Marine Care Ricketts Point has been running since 2003. A volunteer group, it runs tours, surveys and educational activities as well as regular snorkelling and diving trips.

If you join in, you're likely to see non-aggressive sharks as well as toad fish, leather jackets, porcupine fish, zebra fish and angel fish. Not to mention sea stars, anemones, sea urchins, crustaceans, sponges and all manner of small sea critters.

With Marine Care Ricketts Point, you'll learn that Port Phillip Bay hosts two groups of fish territorials, which live more or less permanently in an area - and travellers, which rest, feed or reproduce there then move on.

Common travellers include those sought by fishermen: King George whiting, snapper, garfish, flounder, flathead. Watching a snapper swimming around, the light studding it with iridescent blue spots, sure puts a new meaning on fish'n'chips. BYO snorkelling gear or hire locally at Aquability.

Ricketts Point is a marine sanctuary., well known for its kid-friendly rockpools. Fishing is not permitted and dogs must be on leash.
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Why? Because it's fun to discover marine life
When: Snorkelling every Saturday morning
Where: Ricketts Point
Cost: Hire or purchase of mask, snorkel and fins
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