Rare footage of a meeting between a pot-bellied seahorse and white-ear fish in a sponge garden has been captured by underwater robot pilot David Rowland, in Twofold Bay last week.
Mr Rowland, with his company UnderseaROV, has resumed mapping and filming in Twofold Bay looking for beautiful spots for live underwater adventures for schools, aged care communities and charities.
In these adventures viewers see live streamed video from the underwater robot, and are able to chat with the robot pilot and help guide where it travels.
UnderseaROV is based in Batemans Bay, Bega and Sydney, and is a marine robotics, exploration and education company.
Recently, Mr Rowland streamed the underwater landscape and marine life off Batemans Bay live into a Sydney school classroom.
The company has also conducted live underwater adventures for sick children in hospital, through the Starlight Foundation and is now moving into providing real time underwater adventures for older Australians, streaming into a Sydney venue from Twofold Bay last week.
"What we have here on the South Coast are some of the most beautiful sponge gardens and kelp beds in the southern oceans," he said.
"Underwater habitat such as these support incredible marine life, such as the seahorse holding on to a sea tulip, which I was lucky to film last week.
"Our audiences, whether they are students, or older Australians, are spellbound by seeing the marine world come to life and participating in and helping direct the underwater adventure in real time," Mr Rowland said.
"UnderseaROV has just resumed mapping and exploration of Twofold Bay, and the encounter between the seahorse and fish is an example of what we can find when we pilot our underwater robots down into our oceans."
Meanwhile, next week Bournda Environmental Education Centre (EEC) is hosting Stage 3 students from Central Tilba, Pambula, Quaama and Towamba Public Schools in an Underwater Drone Explorer challenge.
Led by marine educator and Bournda EEC teacher Luke Brown, students will use a submersible ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to observe and film fascinating marine creatures and examine the adaptations that allow them to survive in their unique environment.
The ROV was purchased using funds from a Fairfax Foundation Fair Education grant to support local public school students working on STEM projects.
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