Help needed to solve mangrove vandalism

An investigation has been launched into the destruction of marine vegetation at Wellington Point, with mangroves at the Wellington Point Reserve vandalised and a number of trees and plants showing signs of deliberate poisoning in the Geoff Skinner Wetlands.

Damaged marine vegetation in the Geoff Skinner Wetlands, Wellington Point

Damaged marine vegetation in the Geoff Skinner Wetlands, Wellington Point

Redland City Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Wellington Point Wendy Boglary has urged the public to come forward with any information about the destruction of plants in the protected marine habitat.

“Last week, a number of mangroves in the Wellington Point Reserve were cut down to the waterline, the third time this year that mangroves in this area have been deliberately damaged,” she said.

“In the Geoff Skinner Wetlands, mangroves, casuarinas and salt water couch near O’Connell Parade appear to have been deliberately poisoned.

“These senseless acts of vandalism are illegal and attract huge fines.

“Council and the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) need assistance from the public to determine what happened to the marine vegetation and who is responsible.”

QBFP District Officer, Mathew Davidson, said all marine plants including mangroves, seagrass and saltmarsh species were protected by the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994.

“Mangroves and other marine plants are vital natural resources providing shelter, food and nursery areas for fish species in Moreton Bay,” he said.

“They are also important to coastal ecosystems, support community activities such as fishing and help protect the coastline from erosion.

“As a protected habitat, prior approval is required for any works or activities that could disturb, destroy or damage them.

“This protection applies to all marine plants on private, leasehold and public land, regardless of whether the plants are deemed to be dead or alive.

“Fines of up to $365,700 can be imposed for the destruction of marine plants.”

Investigations are continuing and anyone with information about the destruction at Geoff Skinner Wetlands is urged to contact the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.

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