12 April 2009

"Stinky weeds" at Manly Beach

In "Help! It's the stinky kelp" the SMH claims that "The smell comes from a tubular weed called cunji which was ripped off the rocks at the same time as the kelp". Cunjevoi (Pyura stolonifera) are animals, when they decay they smell. The giant sea tulip (Pyura spinifera) was also washed up along with the kelp. Such is beach ecology.

Out of sight 'management' of the unwanted parts of nature, such as "landfill" appear to be opportune ideas to " silence community complaints".

It is a mystery that this "community" never complains about the deadly petrol fumes along the cafes/restaurants, the beach and surf. Not a word about sewage odors or the plastic debris. But the unsightly "stinky" seaweed and the nuisance of decay ought to be removed from tidy town so that business as ususal can continue.
How will they react when the red tide or the oil slick hits?

01 April 2009

Manly Beach Drift "wood" - April

A monthly summary of what has washed onto the shore or beach through the winds, tides, waves or human action. Marine debris, flora and fauna, dead or alive:
A raging ocean today on Fossil Fools Day, most beaches are closed.

The unusual find today was as a small (17 cm) dead Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelyidae and plastic). A large Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) wrapped in plastics and kelp. Many tropical-looking fish. An unusual number of juvenile Snappers and many Porcupine fish of all sizes. A dead juvenile Australasian Gannet (approx. 55 cm). A lot of dead Cormorants and at least 14 living Crested Terns.
Jellyfish in all colours and sizes, a thick layer of bluebottles all along the beach. Small flat disk-like 'bluebottles'. The usual transluscent giant blobs. Unusual was a large glassy Jellyfish with 4 corners! A large purple/mauve blob (20cm) consisted of many scale-like compartments and short tentacles. A large variety of big sponges and a lot of pumice. The foam appeared very colourful.

A couple of mollusc overgrown coconuts. And a generous amount of shared noxious weeds from garden clippings. Treated pampas grass, asparagus fern, prickly pear etc.
The human Junkspace: Mostly plastic: 'party' balloons with looong strings, full 'throw' away lighters, dummies, fast food debris, fishing junk/hooks and a syringe A dumped (stolen?) bicycle.
A woman on the walkway walking her dog on a very long leash ON the beach. A pack of free range dogs on the beach in the afternoon as well. Wonder how many prosecutions there are in Manly for dogs on the beach? 010409

Sponges today of all shapes, sizes and colours. The endosymbiont animals do not have a nervous, digestive or circulatory systems, but are sure an indicator for the absence of a murky marine habitat.A Brushtail Possum carcass, possibly 'busted' by the dog-fanatic community that seems to eradicate anything Australian.

Unusual were the large fist-size red/purple jellyfish. They seem to have scale-like compartments on their bell and very short tentacles. They look as if one does not want to touch them. The usual transluscent, amorphous blob jellyfish and bluebottles.
The 'party balloons' with entangle ribbons do not seem to end, in fact the clumps/knots seem to get larger and more plentiful. But then there is a lot to celebrate in an overcrowded world with diminishing resources. 020409

Mystery fish, note the sharp teeth and leg-like fins?
A Cunjevoi (Pyura stolonifera) day today, all over the beach. No, not illegal bait, it all seemed to have blown in with the wild weather. An unusual large (55 cm) fish, maybe a Catfish? Sharp teeth in a powerful ancient loooking head and a sword-like tail. A still very colourful looking Weedy sea dragon( Phyllopteryx taeniolatus).

Many washed up little nudibranch (Glaucilla marginata) again. Usually they float on top of the ocean eating Bluebottles and incorporating their stinging cells. A few stranded Velella, mingling with the odd Bluebottle/The Portuguese Man o' War (Physalia physalis). A few Ram's horn shell (Spirula spirula).
Two dead rats and a car tyre. 030409

A thick layer of kelp on the beach and in the surf today. Brown algae accumulates heavy metals such as copper, lead and zinc from sub-urban 'runoff' (pdf) , industrial activities and motorised watercraft. "In some parts of the harbour, lead levels in seaweed were six times higher than those off Hong Kong Island". The contaminated brown algae of Sydney Harbour is so toxic it makes the prawn (Epifaunal amphipods) feeding on it drop dead. Huge bits of Cunjevoi in between.
Junkspace: 2 more tyres, noise pollution from amplified events and glass around these areas. 2 dead rats by! the pool. 040409
>> Driftwood March, February, January 2009