We did it – one million seagrass seeds deployed in Cockburn Sound this seagrass season!
Thank you to all of the recreational fishers, volunteer divers and boaters, school students, and local businesses who came together to make this year our biggest Seeds for Snapper yet.
More than 400 volunteers played a part in helping achieve the lofty goal of dispersing one million seeds in a single season. Their efforts are helping to return this lost habitat to the WA coastline.
It is estimated that Cockburn Sound has lost 85 per cent of its seagrass meadows in recent decades. Seagrass meadows are a vital habitat for pink snapper and ‘Seeds for Snapper’ is the biggest community-driven seagrass restoration program in Australia.
The one million seagrass seeds were deployed to reseed two hectares of seagrass meadows. That’s more than the initiative did in its first four years combined and demonstrates the growing conservation movement in communities across Australia.
Seeds for Snapper is made possible by support from BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing, and is a collaborative project with the University of Western Australia and RecFish West. It is supported by the WA Government’s Recreational Fishing Initiative Fund, Water Corporation and MMA Offshore.
Steve Pursell, OzFish Program Manager for Western Australia, thanked everyone who had worked together to play a part in achieving such an impressive result.
“The engagement we’ve had from local recreational fishers, divers, boaters and other community members, not to mention our various project partners and funders has been absolutely incredible this year,” said Steve.
“Not only did we hit our target of one million seeds, but we did it quicker than we anticipated and with record numbers of volunteers. The support and expertise of Water Corporation has been key as their engineering advice helped us improve our onshore tank system and increase the ratio of usable seeds from fruit collected.
“Thank you to everyone involved – you’re helping to make a real difference to habitat restoration and native fish numbers. That work doesn’t begin or end with ‘Seeds for Snapper’ though and there are lot of other opportunities to get involved with OzFish.”
Volunteers were involved through a variety of roles, including as boat netters, qualified scuba and free divers, shore crew, boat masters, and seagrass seed dispersal crew.
The innovative restoration technique developed in collaboration with the University of Western Australia saw volunteers prepare the fruits onshore for replanting in areas primed for restoration. The fruits were prepared in large onshore tanks, designed by Water Corporation.
The seagrass season in Cockburn Sound runs from November each year and Seeds for Snapper will be back in WA for 2023.
You can get involved in habitat restoration today. Visit one of our project pages or email us at email@example.com.