Marine Studies Discovering Introduced Species - Year 8

During our snorkelling session on Tuesday, we identified and removed a Norther Pacific Seastar, a very active predator who will eat almost anything it can capture, particularly shellfish. This Seastar is fast growing, can produce up to 20 million eggs per adult female and live up to 5 years. It thrives in our temperate waters and has very few natural predators in Australia. It takes food sources away from our native Seastar species and other marine animals do not recognise the Northern Pacific Seastar as a threat, like they do other sea stars, creating a huge disruption to native ecosystems. It is believed there are close to 200 million of these in Port Phillip Bay alone and they were introduced via swimming larvae in the ballast water of ships returning from Japan to Port Phillip Bay.

Our year 8 Marine Scientists are already a step ahead in preparation for ‘Global issues impacting our marine ecosystems’ to be studied in year 9 Marine Science next year.

Fiona Scott
Marine Studies Teacher

 

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