Western Australian recreational fishers and divers haveĀ  come together for the second consecutive year to help restore the lost seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound, by collecting and spreading seagrass seeds.

Seed Collection and Processing

Around November each year seagrass meadows flower, producing fruit which is released and floats to the sea surface. This fruit, resembling a banana flower contains the seed. As the fruit splits, dropping the seed, tiny sail like structures on the seeds allows them to spread with the current. While out boating in the Cockburn Sound, volunteers use hand nets to collect the fruit pods.

The collected seeds are then agitated in salt-water tanks until they are ready for dispersing in areas experiencing habitat loss.

Restoration Events

During the month-long Seagrass restoration program, three public events were held. The first community meeting in early November at the Cockburn Powerboat Club was attended by over 150 people proving the community really care about restoring the aquatic habitat.

This was followed up with a Family Seeding Day on the 24th of November which despite the windy weather conditions, families with young enthusiastic children helped disperse thousands of seed into the restoration site south of Henderson Marina.

A Seagrass Garden Party was held on the 12th of December at the Coogee Dive Trial where over 200 people enjoyed a day in the sun hearing about seagrass and the aim of the project to establish a seagrass garden close to the Omeo Wreck. Some dive volunteers took out the last of the collected seagrass seeds whilst others snorkeled and swam, exploring the wonderful marine life growing on the wreck and artificial reef structures.

The Seeds for Snapper project was made possible thanks to OzFish’s partnership with BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing and support from the University of Western Australia, the City of Cockburn and Recfishwest.