Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meadows where sea horses graze

Western Port Bay is well-known for its sea grass meadows, which are important breeding places for fish, as well as sea horses and leafy-sea dragons.

A couple of times over the past two years we've had the thrill of finding large-bellied sea horses and leafy-sea dragons washed ashore on our Phillip Island beach.

It's the male sea horse that's the mother! The female lays her eggs into the male's pouch, where he incubates them until they hatch. The male continues to care for the young sea horses until they are mature.

Tasmania is home to a multi-million-dollar sea horse breeding industry. This farm supplies sea horses for the aquarium trade, medical research and Chinese medicine. It's hoped that this industry will guarantee the survival of the species in the wild.

I love the feel of soft sand and leafy sea grasses beneath my feet and have a romantic fantasy that one day I'll be fortunate enough to swim with a sea horse in the wild.

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