Giant Kelp

Most Tasmanians are familiar with surface fronds of Giant Kelp, or Macrocystis. These were historically a common sight in South-East Tasmania. The area covered by this seaweed has drastically reduced over the last 50 years. In 1955, surveys indicated approximately 30,000 acres of Giant Kelp were present in Tasmanian coastal waters, but now only a small portion of that area remains.

Large areas of coastline off Binalong Bay, Scamander to Bicheno, Grindstone Bay and Maria Island once supported healthy kelp forests. However, there is little of the seaweed evident in these areas. Concerns relating to the decline of giant kelp implicate many other marine species.

SeaCare recognises the significant problem surrounding this area, and with previous funding from the National Heritage Trust, this allowed the problem to be addressed by way of a reef rehabilitation program. Areas in the South-East and North-East were reseeded with juvenile Giant Kelp by volunteer divers, in an attempt to recreate a healthy reef environment.