Sell with Confidence
Read More

Fears Cyclone Marcia damaged seagrass

By Mark Beale

THERE are fears over how Cyclone Marcia and localised flooding will damage seagrass, which is a vital food source for many other marine species.

Freshwater run-off from agricultural land and flooded rivers and creeks could cause poor water quality in Queensland bays and damage seagrass beds, James Cook University tropical water and aquatic ecosystem scientist Michael Rasheed said.

“If there is lots of dirty water sitting around for a long time, it could start to die,” he said.

Dr Rasheed said long dirty flood water in bays and off the coast would limit seagrass’s access to light.

Seagrass played a critical role in the marine food chain, Dr Rasheed said.

It provided food for fish, prawns, crabs, turtles and dugongs – a species that almost exclusively relies on seagrass.

Larger animals such as other fish and sharks are attracted to seagrass beds for forage fish to survive.

An example of the importance of seagrass was revealed in the 1990s in Hervey Bay.

Fishers started spotting dead dugongs in the bay in 1992.

The Mary River flooded twice in one month that year, carrying silt into the sea. The seagrasses were killed because of extended periods of clouded water.

Without their seagrass food source, the dugongs died.

Dr Rasheed said seagrass off Gladstone also was being monitored because of similar scares.

But it is a different story in Shoalwater Bay, where Cyclone Marcia hit as a category five. Dr Rasheed said the past seagrass mapping occurred in the bay in the late 1990s.

He said it would be difficult to determine exactly how badly seagrass was affected from Cyclone Marcia and flooding because seagrass was not closely monitored in Queensland.


Up to Date

Latest News

  • Ray White Whitsunday E-News – 18th February 2021

    Dear Welcome once again. Encouraging signs for those selling their properties now with our internet inquiries still increasing with an average of 62% increase compared to 4 weeks ago. Of course, looking at this objectively, the number of inquiries is normally directly related to the amount of stock we carry … Read more

    Read Full Post

  • Is The Pandemic Driving Regional Property Growth?

    Internal migration has seen a net decline of 32,346 people in metro areas in just nine months up to September 2020, but the actual trend to move rural started well before the COVID pandemic, an industry expert has revealed. ABS data released in February showed the nation’s capital cities had … Read more

    Read Full Post