Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officers at Mooloolaba were disappointed to see 12 during their patrol at Golden Beach, Caloundra recently.
The plants form part of The TS Onslow Shoreline Management Project, a small community project that aims to re-establish a natural shoreline vegetation buffer to manage erosion and promote fish habitat. As part of the project, Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation harvested and supplied red mangrove saplings. You can see in this before and after pic that the mangroves had reached 1.5 m in height, but this vandalism has significantly impacted the project.
Marine plants play an important part of the marine environment and it is an offence to damage, destroy or remove them. QBFP are currently investigating the matter. If you have any information, please let us know by calling the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 (toll free within Queensland).
All marine plants are protected under Queensland law through provisions of the Fisheries Act 1994. The destruction, damage or disturbance of marine plants without prior approval from Fisheries Queensland is prohibited.
Heavy penalties apply to any unauthorised disturbances that impact on marine plants. Protection also applies to all marine plants, no matter where they grow (i.e. on all private and public lands).
Marine plants grow on or adjacent to tidal lands. They include mangroves, seagrass, saltcouch, algae, samphire (succulent) vegetation and adjacent plants, such as melaleuca (paper barks) and casuarina (coastal she-oaks).
Importance of marine plants for sustaining fish stocks
Marine plants, as well as rocky foreshores, mud flats, reefs and sand bars, are a fundamental part of marine fish habitats in Queensland.
These habitats provide shelter, food and nursery areas, particularly for estuarine dependent species. Marine plants and marine fish habitats more generally are a vital natural resource that help to sustain fish for the future for commercial, traditional and recreational fishing.
Please play your role in protecting these important fish habitats for the future.