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Tangalooma Marine Education & Conservation Centre

Eco Certified Ecotourism

Surrounded by 98% national park and built on the picturesque shores of Moreton Island, the Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre provides an up-close and personal look into the wonderful world of Moreton Bay. A passionate and dedicated team of Eco Rangers provide a wide range of Eco Walks, Tours and Presentations for all ages and backgrounds. These tours are designed to interactively educate people about conservation and their surrounding eco systems. Through education, attitudes can be changed and people can become aware of their environments so they can start making a difference. 

The Marine Education and Conservation Centre (TMECC) is unique from any other facility as the environment is right on the doorstep, with endangered animals frequently passing the shores. Dolphins, Dugongs, Whales, Turtles, Rays, Marine Birds and so much more can be seen daily with interpretative taks provided by the TMECC Eco Rangers. 

TMECC aims to educate young children with an established program called Eco Marines. Eco Marines is a non-for-profit environmental program that assists and sponsors community engagement in advocacy and action to protect domestic and international waterways, rivers, oceans and wildlife.

Thursday, 30 January 2014
Tessellate Moray

“Tessellate Moray (Gymnothorax favagineus)


The tessellate moray is a large species of moray eel found within the Indo-West Pacific. They grow up to 1.8m in length, but may potentially get as large as 3m. Like most species of moray, they lack pectoral and pelvic fins, giving them a snake like appearance. Tessellate morays are also referred to as honeycomb morays, from the beautiful black and white honeycomb patterning on their body.

Moray eels are nocturnal hunters, and have small eyes and poor vision, so they rely on their sense of smell for hunting. They eat a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Within their throat they actually have a second set of jaws, called pharyngeal jaws, which restrain captured prey and transport it to the back of the throat.

During the day, morays are often found living in a small hole or crevice in a reef, or a burrow in the sand, with just their head poking out. When encountered, they often have their mouth open, showing off their big teeth, and many people think that this is an aggressive display. What they are actually doing is pumping water through their mouth and over their gills, so they can breathe while sitting still.

Morays are quite shy and timid animals, but will attack in defence if provoked or threatened. To avoid being bitten, just give them a good bit of distance and never touch or grab them. Hand feeding morays is also a bad idea. As they have poor eyesight, they have trouble distinguishing fingers from food, so will more than likely bite the hand too. People have lost fingers from being bitten by a moray, so it’s a better idea just to leave them in peace and marvel at their beauty from a safe distance! These photos were taken at the Tangalooma shipwrecks.”

Eco Ranger Pat

Posted by Ben
Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Big Eye Trevally

“The big eye trevally is a common predatory fish distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific, and found around inshore and offshore reefs and seamounts down to depths of 100m. They can be distinguished from other trevallies in having a dark second dorsal fin with a white tip, as well as a small black spot high up on their operculum (gill cover; located a few cm behind the eye). They grow up to 120cm in length and 18kg in weight.


During the day you may see these fish in large schools (up to 1500 individuals!) moving slowly around various forms of structure, but at night they break off from the school to hunt. They eat a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and molluscs. This differs too many other trevallies, which are mainly diurnal (daytime) hunters.


Big eye trevally mature at around 42cm in length, and they form large mating aggregations to reproduce. Pairs speedily break away from this aggregation and swim belly to belly to spawn. After successful spawning they will return back into the aggregation. These two photos were taken at the Tangalooma shipwrecks, where large schools of big eye trevally are always encountered under certain parts of the wrecks.”

Posted by Ben


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