Sunday 3 February 2019

Sowing seeds for snapper habitat

January 7, 2019 by Teresa Belcher, Particle
In an Australian first, recreational fishers will have a crack at restoring the lost seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound.
Hundreds of recreational fishers have volunteered to release one million seagrass seeds into the sea as part of the Seeds for Snapper project.
Recfishwest, OzFish and the University of Western Australia have teamed up to reseed Cockburn Sound with seagrass that has been lost over the past 60 years.
Seagrass in danger
OzFish Unlimited's Andrew Matthews says Cockburn Sound has lost around 80% of its original 4000-hectare habitat.
There's now only 900 hectares left.
"That's a massive 2600 football fields worth of seagrass habitat lost over the past few decades," Andrew says.
He says the seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound are well recognised as critical foraging and nursery grounds for pink snapper.
Other species affected by the seagrass loss include King George whiting, squid, garfish and blue swimmer crabs—all popular recreational fishing species.
And after Shark Bay, Cockburn Sound is WA's second-largest pink snapper spawning ground.
So why has the seagrass been lost?

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