We have collaborated with the amazing team at the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery who are processing seagrass for Restoration Forth, a partnership project restoring seagrass habitats and native oyster populations in the Firth of Forth.
Seagrass reproductive shoots were collected from seagrass meadows in Orkney and then processed by community groups at the Scottish Seabird Centre and in the Lobster Hatchery facility to remove the seeds.
The seeds will then be stored over the winter at the Lobster Hatchery to prevent early germination. In the spring, the seeds will be planted at three chosen sites in the Firth of Forth, with the goal of restoring 4 hectares of seagrass by the end of 2024.
Leftover seagrass will then be sent to Caledonian Horticulture to be composted.
Healthy seagrass meadows enhance biodiversity and create nursery habitats for a variety of marine life, including fish, shellfish, and crabs. The underground roots system of seagrass stabilises sediments which helps to reduce wave action and coastal erosion, protecting coastal towns from flooding and storm damage. Seagrass meadows can also effectively store carbon in their soils, contributing to the crucial effort to mitigate climate change. Furthermore, seagrass acts as a natural filter to help improve water quality by storing nutrients and removing pollutants.
Find out more about Restoration Forth: https://www.wwf.org.uk/scotland/restoration-forth
Find out more about the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery’s work within Restoration Forth: https://www.firthofforthlobsterhatchery.org.uk/lobsterblog/p0kbc5ns3ud5c9oli6fs7knw9d1e5h
With thanks to Raymond Besant and Orkney.com for providing us with the footage of their seagrass meadows.