VITAL TO ECO SYSTEM
It’s great news that we have many local residents who are concerned about the cockle population of Cockle Bay ( Eastern Courier, July 26). Cockles are a vital link in our whole eco system and must be protected.
Apart from providing food source for multiple organisms, including humans, their filter feeding system clarifies the sea by removing minute organic particles. By maintaining the balance of nature, we can protect their welfare for the next few thousands years.
Multiple factors effect their population. Over harvesting is merely one of those. Changes in sea temperature effect survival of the cockle larvae.
Sudden overload of clay particles washed into the sea from land development can choke the cockles of oxygen.
Green algae from agricultural animals and fertilisers can smother them, inappropriate use of sprays, heavy metals from motor vehicles, and simply washing your car and allowing the run off to go down the roadside drains is detrimental.
Discharge from sewage system or building development into the stream can have a disastrous effect on the stream and beach health.
I commend the Cockle Bay Domain Restoration Project recently started by conservationist Matthew Brajkovich and supported by a growing group of volunteers.
They aim to restore the entire domain and wider area to it’s natural habitat by removing all the pest plants and animals alongside the stream, and assisting local property owners to identify and eliminate pests on their places that may be infecting the public land and water ways.
Improving the stream and land health around the beach is a huge factor in maintaining the cockle population.
Bronwen Johnson Cockle Bay
Shellfish gatherers digging on a stormy day at Cockle Bay.
‘‘The survey didn’t show an immediate sustainability issue.’’
If a decline from 72 million to 21 million over five years is not an immediate sustainability issue, I would like to know what is?
That is over 10 million per year over the last five years.
So, if the decline continued for another two years, the bed could be wiped out.
Of course this would not
A few weeks ago, I visited Cockle Bay and though officers were there, many got away with more than allowed.
We need more officers. Not good.
Ross Whitlow Shelly Park