Cockburn Sound – an incredible fishery on Perth’s doorstep.
It’s safe and accessible, providing a fantastic place for fishers of all skill levels to chase many species including squid, blue swimmer crabs, herring and much, much more.
A nurturing nursery: Watch OzFish’s video here
Cockburn Sound’s seagrass meadows are an important nursery ground for so many of our favourite fish. However, 80 per cent of these meadows have unfortunately been lost.
Despite this significant seagrass decrease, fishers have the chance to help rejuvenate the juvenile fish havens through a trailblazing re-seeding program — Seeds for Snapper.
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said the seagrass meadows provided critical foraging and nursery grounds for fish, molluscs and crustaceans.
“The habitat loss impacts the area’s juvenile fish, especially pink snapper, with Cockburn Sound home to the West Coast Bioregion’s only known pink snapper spawning aggregation,” he said.
“Through Seeds for Snapper, fishers are helping restore the significant seagrass loss by hand-dispersing seagrass seeds to restore the nursery habitat for species such as pink snapper and squid.”
How you can help: Sign-up as a Seeds for Snapper 2021 volunteer here!
The fourth Seeds for Snapper officially gets underway next month, highlighted by a free seeding day for families to help disperse seagrass seeds at Cockburn Power Boats Association on 20 November from 9am to 1pm.
There are also opportunities for diving enthusiasts to help gather seeds for the innovative project – check out the Ozfish Seeds for Snapper web page here.
OzFish have set a goal to reseed one million seeds in Cockburn Sound to help underpin the fishery’s nursery habitat.
Currently, more than 500,000 seeds have been released through the Seeds for Snapper program.
OzFish’s WA Program Manager Andrew Matthews encouraged fishers to lend a helping hand at this year’s Seeds for Snapper.
“Volunteers are the driving force of this project,” he said.
Seeds sow a sanctuary
A UWA study found Cockburn Sound’s seagrass has been in long-term decline.
The report noted Cockburn Sound lost almost 80 per cent of its seagrass meadows between 1960s and 1980s, falling from about 4,000ha to less than 900ha.
The Sound’s loss of seagrass is significant – equivalent to more than 1,800 Optus Stadium-sized ovals.
“Seagrass meadows help improve fishing opportunities – there is a link between seagrass habitats and coastal fisheries,” Dr Rowland said.
“If you love fishing Cockburn Sound with your family and friends, be sure to contact OzFish and see how you can get involved in Seeds for Snapper as a volunteer.”