Severe seaweed mess at Portarlington boat ramp frustrates local fishermen

[Australia] A seaweed scourge wreaking havoc at Point Richards has caught the ire of local fishermen, prompting an admission from authorities that the boat ramp is poorly located.

The severe algae build-up surrounding the prime Portarlington boat ramp this week had reportedly made it impossible for users to launch their boats, with Bellarine Bayside saying it was unable to take action until yesterday due to “unfavourable weather conditions and tides”.

 

The boat ramp has been covered in seaweed. Picture: Peter Ristevski

Moolap resident and keen fisherman Hugh Hanson said the mossy mess was a regular occurrence often caused by strong westerly winds, such as the 57km/h gusts recorded in the region on Sunday.

“(The jetty) has just got that much stretch across the bay that the wind chops rip up all the seaweed … it just dumps them around,” he said.

“You end up getting bogged in seaweed or you can’t even launch.”

An excavator was eventually commissioned to help clean up the two west-facing concrete ramps in readiness for this weekend, with Bellarine Bayside noting that the build-up was “stuck beyond the reach of our equipment”.

Bellarine Bayside communications co-ordinator Nicole Mathers said scheduled dredging in the Pt Richards area after the June long weekend was likely to “alleviate the amount of seaweed build-up” at the boat ramp.

The Point Richards Boat Ramp in Portarlington has been regularly covered in seaweed and seagrass, making it difficult for boaters to gain access to the water.

“Bellarine Bayside regularly monitors and removes the accumulation of seaweed and seagrass from this boat ramp,” she said.

“The seaweed drift into this area is a natural occurrence and the boat ramp is just located in the wrong position, right in the path of this natural seaweed/seagrass drift.”

Works on a $500,000 project to improve the Pt Richards precinct are also set to commence in July, with a final concept plan featuring a seaweed holding bay, a fish cleaning table and extensive parking upgrade.

The project received $361,600 from the State Government, with Bellarine Bayside providing the additional funds.

 

View original article at: Severe seaweed mess at Portarlington boat ramp frustrates local fishermen

 

 

 

 

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