oa South African Journal of Science - The South African coelacanths - an account of what is known after three submersible expeditions : coelacanth research

Volume 102, Issue 9-10
  • ISSN : 0038-2353
  • E-ISSN: 1996-7489



Using the manned submersible <I>Jago</I>, the habits, distribution and number of coelacanths within all main submarine canyons of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park were studied during 47 survey dives, with a total bottom time of 166 hours at depths ranging from 46 to 359 m, between 2002 and 2004. Twenty-four individuals were positively identified from three of the canyons, primarily from inside caves at or close to the canyon edges at depths of 96-133 m with water temperatures between 16 and 22.5<sup>o</sup>C. The population size of coelacanths within the canyons is assumed to be relatively small; coelacanths are resident but not widespread nor abundant within the park.

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