Posted on: June 8, 2017
With over 12,800 kilometres of coastline, Western Australia has a unique marine environment. Celebrate ‘World Oceans Day’ by learning something new about our very own marine environment. Here are some of our suggestions:
One of the most significant drivers of our marine environment is the Leeuwin Current, the longest boundary current in the world, pushing a great flow of tropical water southwards along the edge of the WA continental shelf. The current plays an important role in the spawning and distribution of coral as well as that of other tropical organisms. It has a major impact on the life cycle of the western rock lobster and in the distribution of seagrass and algae, sea birds and finfish stocks.
There are a myriad of habitats in Western Australia – from the mud flats and mangroves in the north; the spectacular corals of Ningaloo Reef and the Abrolhos Islands; the amazing seagrass meadows of Shark Bay; the limestone reefs of the west coast; to the granite boulders of the south coast.
The largest fish in the sea visits Western Australian waters each year. Whale sharks are famous for their annual gathering at Ningaloo Reef, but outside these waters very little is known about this threatened species.
Food chains and webs
In order to survive, every living organism needs some form of energy (food). A food chain is a simple representation of the feeding relationships between species within a habitat or ecosystem. A food web is a number of interconnected food chains showing the flow of energy and matter through an ecosystem.
Did you know? The largest fish in the sea feeds on some very tiny food!