Recently when I walked past the Marina at Bellerive, I looked down in horror to see hundreds of seastars foraging across the river bottom. The water was clear so their orange arms were spectularly visible. Some of these starfish were larger than a dinner plate.
The white lines in the photo above are the reflections of yacht masts.
I talked about these pests in two earlier postings; ‘Northern Pacific Seastars’ of 14 September 2014, and Stage 2 on 4/9/2014 Mitchell’s Beach of 5 September 2014. The Tasmanian government department responsible for parks (http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=6917) provides information about Tasmania’s 3 unique starfish and acknowledges the damage that Northern Pacific Seastars are doing to our marine life.
Pretty some might say. Perhaps that is why they are multiplying and limited collection and destruction actions are being taken.
For a split second I thought to throw off my clothes, jump in and start throwing these scavangers onto the jetty. Of course, common sense prevailed: I could have been overcome with hypothermia. In addition, I realised there were too many for one person to collect. Their removal needs a devoted crowd of wet suit clad divers to be methodical and dedicated. Of course the sadness is that thousands more are grazing out of eye shot. And they continue to breed so well in these cool waters.
You can read Louise Goggin’s story on these marauding seastars at http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/starfish/. ‘Enjoy’ the photo in this article “Community divers pulled 30,000 sea stars from the Derwent River in 1993 and hardly put a dent in the population”.
Last weekend, when I walked to Bellerive Village via the Bellerive Yacht Club and Boardwalk, I was stunned by the beauty of the view. The water in the marina was smooth as glass. The yachts were clear edged by the crisp air and hard bright morning sun. Despite puffs of cloud obscuring full vision of Mount Wellington in the distance, the vista was spectacular.
On a recent afternoon I could see the Marina cruise ship berthed at MAC2/3 (the name of one of Hobart piers). This ship arrived early in the morning from Geelong in southern Victoria on mainland Australia.
Later, I watched the Marina depart at 6pm. The early evening sun sparkled across the Derwent River and brightened the ship so it made a spectacle as it gathered steam. The Marina’s next destination is Milford Sound on the south island of New Zealand.
From my Bellerive home I can see these large ‘towns’ on water as they arrive and depart. I can almost feel the thrill that I expect new arrivals might experience as they reach this new destination ready to discover a new world. One day I hope one of my blog followers will be on such a cruise ship and will ask me to take them on a walk somewhere along the Derwent River.