Concern marina will harm
The sheltered and sandy nearshore seagrass meadows of Mangles Bay are considered by scientists and the Department of Fisheries to be a fish nursery of Statewide significance.
Species such as king george whiting, yellowfin and western trumpeter whiting, tarwhine and sea mullet, as well as crabs, octopus, squid and other species shelter and feed in the bay’s seagrass.
The WA Fishing Industry Council last week warned construction of the Mangles Bay Marina would likely destroy this crucial seagrass habitat, putting fish and crab stocks at risk.
The marina proposal, a joint venture between Cedar Woods and LandCorp, has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and State and Federal ministers and has now gone to the City of Rockingham for local government approvals.
Cedar Woods State manager Ben Rosser said the marina proposal was entering the refined planning phase to rezone the land and assess the development plan.
“The development plan is a culmination of many years work with input from the community, and includes a wide range of benefits giving locals and visitors improved recreational facilities that make the most of this underutilised area,” he said.
Compared to the broader Cockburn Sound area, Mangles Bay is considered to have high fish diversity and abundance and acts as a source for fisheries located far beyond its immediate area.
About 80 per cent of Cockburn Sound’s seagrass has been lost to coastal development and another 5ha or more is expected to be lost in the construction of the marina.
WAFIC chief executive John Harrison said fishers were concerned about potential damage to their industry.
ap- proval conditions requiring appropriate mitigation measures to protect existing seagrass meadows, WAFIC is not at all confident this will protect fish and crab stocks,”
Mangles Bay, off Cape Peron, the site of a proposed marina and associated housing and tourism development. INSET: A juvenile king george whiting from Mangles Bay.