One of the best things about taking action to care for the Bay is the gems you discover along the way. Thanks to our good mate Geoff Sadler, in February 2016 we sailed out of Geelong Yacht Club to conduct 2 half-hour manta-net trawls to measure micro-plastic pollution in Corio Bay.
The good news is we only captured 3 plastics! Was this because almost everyone in Geelong does the right thing with litter? Or, because there had been no rain to flush plastics off the streets in the days leading up to the trawls? More trawls, especially after rain, will tell.
In each of the trawls the net collected a few tufts of seagrass and two 25mm long (post-larval) wide-bodied pipefish (Stigmatopora nigra) were found hiding in them. This species grows to around 160mm long and is known to be abundant in eelgrass beds (Heterozostera tasmanica). As they do such an excellent job impersonating seagrass not many people will have seen them.
Pipefishes are members of the Syngnathidae family which also includes pipehorses, seahorses and seadragons.