Home / Projects / Seagrass Restoration / Seeds for Snapper, Fleurieu Peninsula – South Australia

This project is trialing methods to rehabilitate degraded seagrass in the waters surrounding the Fleurieu Peninsula. You can register your interest to help restore this vital habitat to South Australia’s coast for the 2023 Seeds for Snapper season.


3750 seeds


1082 hours


150 sandbags


Seagrass restoration in South Australia has been underway for several years, with the Fleurieu Peninsula site kicking off in 2022.

Fleurieu Peninsula 2022
Fleurieu Peninsula 2022

The Fleurieu Peninsula restoration project was new for 2022 and it got off to a great start. More than 200 volunteers delivered 1,080 hours to collect and deploy almost 4,000 seagrass seeds. They sewed the seeds, by hand, into more than 130 sandbags before placing them back into the waters…
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Expanding seagrass success from elsewhere

OzFish has been successfully delivering its Seeds for Snapper restoration program in South Australia since 2020. Methods used along Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline will now be trialled at sites around the Fleurieu Peninsula.

OzFish volunteers and partner organisations will monitor the trial sites and determine which restoration techniques work best in different conditions, such as high wave action.


The importance of seagrass

Significant areas of seagrass meadows have been lost from South Australia’s coastline, causing a hugely detrimental impact on local native fish populations.

As well as providing an important habitat for fish, seagrasses also help to stabilise soil and sediment on the ocean floor, helping to protect Australia’s shorelines from erosion and storms.

They also store carbon and nutrients, which helps to improve water quality and clarity – a hectare of seagrass stores 35 times more carbon than a hectare of rainforest.


A Helping Hand

Seagrass meadows are naturally slow spreaders and struggle in sandy habitats. 

That’s why OzFish is giving the environment a helping hand to ensure seagrass seeds get to the right places and have the best chance of taking root and growing. This help will speed up the restoration of seagrass meadows and ensure its where they’re needed.  

Each year in in late November to early January, Posidonia seagrass produces a fruiting body that floats to the sea surface. Although thousands of these fruits are produced each season, many are washed onto the shore by wind and currents. 

This means the seeds decay and do not contribute to seagrass regrowth.  


Many fruits are also swept far out to sea, where when the fruit opens, the seeds sink to the deep ocean floor where sunlight does not reach. Without sufficient light, these seeds also do not grow.

To address this challenge, OzFish mobilises beachcombers and boaters to collect the fruit they find – either washed ashore or floating on the ocean’s surface. Beachcombers collect the fruits and place them in a bucket with some water, while boaters bring the floating fruit in by dipnet – being careful not to catch other marine life by accident. 

The fruits are then processed on shore in tanks, and the resulting seeds sewn into environmentally friendly biodegradable sandbags. These are then placed back in the ocean, at the correct depth, at identified locations. 

Keeping your eyes open

The changeable nature of winds and currents mean that it’s not always known where and when seagrass fruits will wash ashore or be found on the ocean’s surface. 

Quite often, they’ll just appear without any prior indication and that’s why the local community volunteer network is key to the success of seagrass restoration in South Australia. 

When you register to be part of this year’s initiative, you’ll find out about how OzFish will spread the word to you and others when seagrass fruits are spotted in the local area. 


  • What is seagrass?

    Seagrasses are flowering plants that have evolved to live in marine environments. Seagrasses have root systems like land-based plants and that is one of the main ways that they differ from seaweeds or algae which do not have root systems. They grow like urban lawns, sending out runners or rhizomes to cover available space, forming large underwater meadows. 

    Seagrasses also produce flowers. The male flowers release pollen which fertilizes the female flowers.  Once fertilized, the seed and fruit develop. Once mature, the fruit release from the flower head and float to the surface.  

    Floating fruit tend to be dispersed by the wind and currents until they split open, releasing the seed, which then sinks to the seafloor where it puts down roots. Research has shown that seeds are potentially an effective way of restoring many Australian seagrasses because we can collect large amounts efficiently, which can then be used to restore large areas. 

  • What do the floating fruit look like?

    A healthy fruit that has a seed inside is green/yellow in colour, and 1.5-2 centimetres in length. A fruit that has recently split open is still green/yellow and looks like a banana peel.

    An old fruit that has split open will turn brown after 1-2 days in the sun. 

  • What fruit should I be collecting?

    Ideally, we want you to target fruit that is still intact (green/yellow and unsplit) and with the seed still inside. 

    If you have intact fruit mixed with a small amount of split fruit that is fine, there is no need to sort through it but please ensure the majority of your catch is not split fruit. If we collect too many fruit husks we risk having lots of fruit material but no seeds and this can be very time consuming to separate.  

    We would ideally like you to sort it and provide us with mainly fruit with seeds intact, but please limit your handling of the intact fruit.   

  • Where is the drop-off point?

    Drop off locations, dates and times will be announced closer to the start of the Seeds for Snapper season. Please also register as a Seeds for Snapper – Fleurieu Peninsula volunteer. 

  • Can I view last season’s information sessions?

    Yes. Click on the links to see the presentation from Project Scientific Leader Associate Professor Jason Tanner from SARDI Aquatic Sciences on his research in connection to this project.

    Jason Tanner’s presentation


19 FEBRUARY 2024 | Silver Linings For Fleurieu Seagrass

The seagrass season has wrapped for South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula region, and despite the seeds missing the memo this year, plenty of progress has been made in bringing the beds back to their natural glory. After a bumper season of collecting and distributing in 2022/23, the SA OzFish team were at the ready over the Christmas break, with all eyes on the peninsula’s beaches. Both OzFish staff and volunteers monitored the beds closely throughout the season, however due to unknown factors, no seeds washed ashore to be mustered into the waiting propagation tanks.

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6 DECEMBER 2023 | South Australia’s seagrass fruit ripe for collecting

The Seeds for Snapper initiative in Adelaide extends to its neighbours on the Southern Fleurieu Coast. To mark their start to the season, an information session for the 2023 Fleurieu project was held on November 30. Drawing a similar crowd this groundswell adds to the momentum of both projects. This year’s Fleurieu project includes a novel initiative of placing sandbags around South Australia’s oldest shipwreck, “The South Australian,” to help protect the wooden hull from damage caused by storm surges, light and organisms that bore into the timber. Speakers included Caroline Taylor from Landscapes SA Hills and Fleurieu, Mark Polzer from the Department for Environment and Water, and volunteers who shared experiences, inspiring new and returning volunteers.

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25 JANUARY 2023 | Seagrass restoration scales up in South Australia thanks to volunteers

The restoration of South Australia’s vitally important seagrass meadows is a step closer after the incredible efforts of our recreational fishers and local communities.   Across both of our ‘Seeds for Snapper’ projects in South Australia, along Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline and on the Fleurieu Peninsula, more than 700 local rec fishers and people got involved. Together, they dedicated more than 3,380 volunteer hours to harvest and deploy more than 18,700 seagrass seeds in over 630 biodegradable sandbags.

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20 OCTOBER 2022 | Restoring seagrass meadows along South Australia’s coastline

We’re urging South Australians to once again support our seagrass restoration initiative in the state to play a key role in improving water quality, protecting the state’s coastline and boosting native fish numbers in local waters.  Our ‘Seeds for Snapper’ seagrass restoration initiative returns to Adelaide’s Gulf St Vincent for its third year. This year, the project will also be supported by an iconic sight on the waters off Adelaide – the One and All tall ship. 

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