Protecting Marine animals
All marine life and native mammals, birds, and reptiles are under the protection of the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation. Several animal species, including seals, turtles, penguins, dolphins, and whales along with a wide variety of waterbirds. Australia’s oceans are home to some of the most diverse marine life on the planet. You must keep a safe distance and eye on them to avoid harming these animals.
When watching whales and dolphins, you must be a minimum of meters away. The Sydney Harbour, including the Spring Cove area near Manly, has been declared a critical habitat for little penguins. At certain times of the year, you must follow restrictions on access, fishing, and anchoring in these areas if you wish to avoid disturbing penguins while they are breeding. If you come within range of an animal, put your engine in idle until the animal moves away. Once you are sure it is safe, move away slowly.
Seagrass beds provide shelter and food for a diversity of aquatic species. In addition, they help bind the sea floor, improve water quality, and provide food for a number of sea creatures.
For the protection of seagrass –
- Do not enter shallow areas unless you are sure your propeller will not damage seagrasses.
- Do not stir the sea floor with your propeller.
- Although seagrass does often look like darker ground, do not anchor on these areas.
- It’s recommended that you use a seagrass-friendly mooring over a seagrass bed.
Aquatic weeds and marine life
Aquatic weeds can harm aquatic life by reducing oxygen and sunlight. They are harmful and can displace some native marine life. Some aquatic plants, such as Salvinia, Cabomba, and alligator weed, float on the water’s surface. It has the power to invade seagrass.
To eliminate the chances of weeds and pests spreading further
- Use heavy aquatic plant growth to avoid shallow, weedy areas and places.
- When your vessel is moored for extended periods, remove marine growth from the hull.
- Before and after you go on the water, clean your vessel, trailer and equipment.
- Report any aquatic weeds or pests that you see.