Publication Details

Demers, M. A., Davis, A. R. & Knott, N. A. (2013). A comparison of the impact of 'seagrass-friendly' boat mooring systems on Posidonia australis. Marine Environmental Research, 83 (N/A), 54-62.


Permanent boat moorings have contributed to the decline of seagrasses worldwide, prompting the development of ‘seagrass-friendly’ moorings. We contrasted seagrass cover and density (predominantly Posidonia australis) in the vicinity of three mooring types and nearby reference areas lacking moorings in Jervis Bay, Australia. We examined two types of ‘seagrass-friendly’ mooring and a conventional ‘swing’ mooring. ‘Swing’ moorings produced significant seagrass scour, denuding patches of ∼9 m radius. Seagrass-friendly ‘cyclone’ moorings produced extensive denuded patches (average radius of ∼18 m). Seagrass-friendly ‘screw’ moorings, conversely, had similar seagrass cover to nearby reference areas. Our findings reinforce previous work highlighting the negative effects of ‘swing’ and ‘cyclone’ moorings. In contrast, the previously unstudied ‘screw’ moorings were highly effective. We conclude that regular maintenance of moorings and the monitoring of surrounding seagrass are required to ensure that ‘seagrass-friendly’ moorings are operating effectively. This is important, as following damage Posidonia will take many decades to recover.



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