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Major marine habitat restoration along Adelaide’s coastline

ADELAIDIANS are being urged to support a major marine restoration project that will play a key role in improving water quality, protecting the city’s metropolitan coastline and boosting native fish numbers in local waters. 

 

The OzFish ‘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. 

 

OzFish is Australia’s recreational fishing conservation charity and delivers fish habitat restoration for better fishing. Unlike other restoration approaches, it mobilises community support to restore seagrass meadows, making ‘Seeds for Snapper’ the largest initiative of its kind in Australia. 

 

OzFish is calling upon recreational anglers, boaters, beachcombers, community organisations, and businesses, to get involved and make 2022 the biggest year yet. Last year, its community of more than 400 volunteers delivered more than 2,174 hours to the project.  

 

“In the first two years of Seeds for Snapper in Adelaide, we have dispersed more than 25,000 seagrass seeds and we want locals to help us again to build on that great work,” said Rachel Williams, OzFish Project Manager for South Australia. 

 

“It is estimated that a single hectare of restored seagrass can produce an average of 207 kilograms of fish per year more. By getting involved, you will be directly helping restore a healthy habitat that will benefit fish, our marine environment, and local communities.” 

 

Volunteers can get involved through a variety of roles, including as beachcombers and boaters collecting seagrass fruits as they float or wash up along the shore.  

 

“Getting involved is easy – all people have to do is register on the OzFish website and then stay tuned, via dedicated channels, for updates on where seagrass fruits have been spotted,” said Rachel. 

 

Once collected, the fruits are processed in saltwater popup tanks and the resulting seeds sewn into environmentally friendly biodegradable sandbags. 

 

The sandbags of seeds are then dispersed, by boat, at strategic locations identified by marine scientists from the Environment Protection Authority and South Australian Research and Development Institute. This year, the dispersal effort will be aided by the One and All, which will be giving day trippers on a special cruise the chance to get involved. 

 

Those interested in volunteering can also attend an information day on Saturday 19 November at Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia. They’ll learn more about getting involved, and how to collect, process and sow seeds into bags.

   

The seagrass fruit harvesting and seed dispersal season takes place from late November until early January. Collection and dispersal days and times can be subject to weather and tides. 

 

More than 6,000 hectares of seagrass meadows has been lost from Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline, over a fifth of the city’s fishing grounds, devastating the local fisheries’ ecology. 

 

Seeds for Snapper in Adelaide is funded by Green Adelaide and BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing. Project partners include South Australian Research and Development Institute, RecFish SA, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, Estuary Care Foundation and Aquatic Biosecurity. 

 

Volunteers are encouraged to register online now to take part https://ozfish.org.au/projects/seeds-for-snapper-south-australia  

 

More details about the Seeds for Snapper information day on Saturday 19 November is available here: https://ozfish.org.au/event/adelaide-seeds-for-snapper-2022-opening-day/ 

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