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Meet the critters in Port Phillip Bay

Take a look at some of Melbourne’s spectacular marine life.

If you look across Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay, it’s hard to imagine the metropolis of marine life living below the surface. There are sponge gardens that explode in a kaleidoscope of colours and towering kelp forests where rocky reefs provide refuge for some weird and wonderful species.

Our work to restore the Bay’s shellfish reefs is helping to provide future habitat and support biodiversity in the Bay.

Meet some of the Bay’s animals and help us to continue our work to secure their futures.

Weedy Seadragons

This spectacular fish, a close relative of the seahorse, is Victoria’s official marine emblem. With a body wrapped in rings and decorated with elaborate seaweed-like accessories, it’s a master of camouflage.

They live in sheltered reefs and seagrass beds in shallow bays. Even if you’re not a diver or snorkeler you can still spot them around piers and jetties.

Weedy Seadragon - © Jarrod Boord/Shutterstock

Nudibranch

Nudibranchs are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs, not to be confused with sea slugs.  There are more than 3,000 species and they all look different. Many are extraordinarily coloured with striking forms, while others are more subdued, preferring to blend in with their surroundings.

Nudibranch © Antonio Martin/Shutterstock

Western Blue Groper

Blue gropers are known as the friendliest fish in the sea because of their inquisitive and a mellow nature. They all start life as females and only a few dominant individuals eventually transform into males. Slow growing, they reach a metre or so in length and can live for up to 70 years.

Blue groper © Friends of Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary

Burrunan Dolphin

The tri-coloured Burrunan Dolphin is unique to Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes. Their combined population is estimated to be only 150 animals.  The Bay is also home to Bottlenose Dolphins.

Burrunan Dolphin © Polperro Dolphin Swims
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