MCRP Working Bee
MAKING URCHIN CULLING EQUIPMENT – 29 November 2021
Urchins can be culled in shallower water by snorkellers.
However, there is no specialist equipment for this.
We needed to get equipment made in time for our first snorkelling urchin cull of this project on 9 December.
Previous experiments by Parks Victoria have involved using hammers (which can be tiring for snorkellers) or sharp long poles (which may not always kill the urchin straight away, and so is not humane).
Parks Victoria therefore developed their own instrument which consists of a long pole with various weights attached to the end. It includes cricket bat grips for gripping by the snorkeller, and holes drilled in various parts of the pole to let water out.
This equipment has to be assembled by hand, using various ready-made items from Bunnings and a cricket store.
So 5 volunteers from MCRP and the general community put aside an afternoon to make several culling poles, under advice from our local Parks Victoria Ranger, Ellen Williams.
Peter Dibbs was owed particular thanks for spending a couple of days visiting several stores to collect the various equipment, and for providing his lovely shady back garden and house.
The biggest problem was getting the cricket grips onto the poles – this was a task which everyone tried their hand at! Apart from his hands-on skills, Ian O’Loughlin was very valuable in being able to obtain a cricket cone to help get the grips on.
Ellen Williams from Parks Victoria demonstrated how to make up the poles, as well as being very hands on, with enormous energy.
Volunteers were Peter Dibbs, Randal Harkin, Beth Jensen, David Langmead, and Ian O’Loughlin.
We managed to make up 15 poles in the afternoon.