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  Seagrasses of Australia    

Seagrasses of Australia

Distibution and Diversity

Australia has approximately 51,000 km2 of seagrass meadows in shallow subtidal and intertidal environments. They are generally found in estuaries and sheltered bays where ocean currents and wave action are not as great.

State Major areas of Seagrass Number of Species
New South Wales Jervis Bay, Botany Bay and Lake Macquarie 8 species
Queensland Hervey Bay, Moreton Bay, Torres Strait 15 species
It is estimated that there are nearly 6,000km2 of seagrass in Queensland waters shallower than 15 metres, and that up to 40,000km2 of the waters deeper than 15 metres of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are likely to have some seagrass.
South Australia Spencer Gulf, Gulf of St Vincent and Encounter Bay 22 species
covering an area of almost 10,000 kmcovering an area of almost 10,000 km2.
Tasmania Norfolk Bay and Pittwater 5 species
Tasmania has about 1.0% of Australia’s seagrasses or about 50 km2
Victoria Corner Inlet, Port Phillip Bay and Westernport Bay 6 species
Western Australia Jurien, Marmion Marine Park, Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, Shark Bay, Cockburn Sound, Geographe Bay and Oyster Harbour. 27 species
Western Australia has one of the biggest seagrass populations in the world. Seagrasses are estimated to cover some 20,000 km² of shallow seabed, and there are 27 species in this region. The variety of habitats along its western and southern coasts is often soft sands in shallow subtropical waters, ideal for these plants.
Northern Territory Gulf of Carpentaria, particularly off West Island in the Limmen Bight 10 species


Seagrass distribution

Hairy spoon seagrass (Halophila decipiens)
Image © Ria Tan Flickr

Eelgrass or ribbonweed (Zostera capricorni)
Image from Scuba Equipment USA


Next:   Ecology ...   


Distribution and Diversity
Seagrass Animals
Seagrass Plants
Benefits and Uses
Photo Gallery 1 - Plants
Photo Gallery 2 - Animals


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