Shared values of environmental stewardship, community engagement and the preservation of our marine ecosystems are the basis for a historic agreement which will help make this year's Seeds for Snapper the best ever.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by OzFish - Australia's fishing conservation charity - and the Cockburn Power Boats Club at a special ceremony at Cockburn Sound. on Friday, September 8.
It was attended by Environment and Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby, Fremantle MP Josh Wilson and Cockburn MP David Scaife.
OzFish Project Manager - Western Australia, Steve Pursell, they were lucky to have the Cockburn Powerboats Club's support in providing them with a tank site this year and into the future.
"It gives the project (Seeds for Snapper) long-term security that is vital," he said. "This year we also hope to engage more boaters and club members."
Cockburn Power Boats Club Commodore, Stephen Knight, said signing the MoU was a significant moment for the club.
"This very historic occasion will help ensure the future of Cockburn Sound for all West Australians, both now and into the future," he said.
"This of course opens up valuable opportunities for many of our members to become involved in the Seeds For Snapper program in various ways to support this very important initiative."
He said that the club was invested in looking after the Sound on land and water "in a very responsible environmental way".
OzFish's Seeds for Snapper seagrass restoration at Cockburn Sound, WA is the largest community seagrass rehabilitation project. Last season more than a million seeds were released.
Running since 2018 the program attempts to restore the vibrant underwater world of Cockburn Sound by cultivating seagrass meadows, a vital habitat for marine life.
Cockburn Sound's seagrass meadows are the lifeline of its marine inhabitants. They provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for a diverse range of species, including the iconic WA snapper.
Seeds for Snapper is going from strength to strength as it enters its sixth year through a long-standing partnership with the University of Western Australia.
The project is supported by organisations like the powerboats club, and funders Water Corporation, Synergy and BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing).
"Thank you to all of our funders and supporters to date, including our supporters: the City of Cockburn, Kwinana Industry Council, One Fish Two Fish, Adreno, Scubanautics, Dive Locker Fremantle and Perth Dive and Fish," said Mr Pursell.
"We have volunteers from all walks of life from school students to retirees.
"We are not only here to restore seagrass, but we're here to unite the community to look after this precious ecosystem for many, many years to come."
Mr Whitby was thrilled the Seeds for Snapper project was working to restore the habitat.
"Who knew you could get a snapper from planting a seed. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me," he said. "There are multiple uses and pressures on this very valuable ecosystem and it's taken a toll.
"Cockburn Sound plays a very important role economically, but it also has a very important role socially and culturally.
"We know that anglers love it, we know that communities love to get on the coastline and to swim in the Sound. We know the significance of this for our community and why it's so important."
Mr Whitby added that he hoped to see more funding delivered to this project.
"There's a very important role for government to play, but it's never governments alone that can do this," he said.
"It's all sorts of issues in the environment, wetlands or wherever you want to look, we can't do it alone. We're going to rely on business. We're going to rely on communities, we're going to rely on individuals to play a role."
Also present to support the signing of the MoU was long-term partner of the Seeds for Snapper program, Recfishwest. Operations Manager, Leyland Campbell, described Cockburn Sound as the spiritual home of recreational fishing in Perth.
"Its sheltered waters have provided safe, accessible, enjoyable fishing for generations," he said "Its seagrass meadows support a huge range of species and provide an important nursery habitats for many of our favourite fish.
"The unique hydrodynamics of the Sound also play an important role in supporting the largest spawning aggregation of snapper in the West Coast bio-region. There aren't many places in the world that have all this on the doorstep of a capital city. It truly is a very special place.
"No one cares more about the health of our aquatic system than recreational fishers. After all, our fishing experiences rely on a healthy environment."
To get invovled with the Seeds for Snapper program in 2023 visit - ozfish.org.au/projects/seeds-for-snapper.
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