A marine sanctuary Seagrass Meadows
These underwater meadows form a noticeable part of our marine coastal environment and provide shelter and sanctuary for many marine species.
Hear all about it!
Many large seagrass meadows are found in Rottnest’s bays. These underwater meadows form a noticeable part of our marine coastal environment. There are nine species of seagrass found around Rottnest. Like meadows on land, seagrass meadows are highly productive and support extensive food webs. They also help with coastal stability.
There are 40 times more marine animals in seagrass meadows than in the bare sand.
Many different fish live in the meadows permanently like the Cobbler, Rough Leatherjacket and Gobbleguts. Sea turtles rest here and this habitat is also a nursery area for the juveniles of lots of species.
Seagrasses provide shelter for a number of molluscs and organisms among their roots and leaves. Top Shell and Dove Shell can be commonly found in Rottnest’s seagrass meadows along with Decorator Crabs and Snapping or ‘Pistol’ Shrimps. Seaweed or decorator crabs are common in the seaweed beds. They camouflage themselves by attaching seaweed to their bodies.
The recolonisation rates of seagrass meadows are very slow. It can take this habitat tens of years to regain its health after damage.
Conservation StatusSome parts of Rottnest’ seagrass meadows are included the Marine Sanctuary Zones shown in the Rottnest Island Marine Management Strategy 2007.
- Extinct in Wild
- Critically Endangered
- Near Threatened
- Least Concerned
Protect this sensitive habitat and preserve the Island’s ecosystem by:
Do Not Anchor on seagrass
Do dispose of your litter correctly
Do anchor only in sandy areas of water
Do snorkel and enjoy the marine environment