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Snorkel Mosman - Kelp and algae

Kelp and algae

You can be forgiven for overlooking kelp and algae whilst you are on a snorkelling adventure. They don’t have the cute and cuddly factor, but they do play a very important role in the local marine environment. They are a food source for many different types of fish, and provide habitat for other animals.

Leather Kelp (Eklonia radiate) is the most common species of kelp found in Southern Australia and has a large holdfast which enables it to attach to rocks, pylons and netting. Leather Kelp, also known as Common Kelp is robust, and can withstand strong ocean currents. At Chowder Bay you will see the Leather Kelp attached to jetty pylons and the swimming net.

Did you know… Kelp is a type of brown algae? It can also grow up to 2m long!

Padina crassa is another type of brown algae. It looks more like cos lettuce, and is much smaller than the Leather Kelp. It is found in more sheltered areas, including on the pylons at Chowder Bay.


Information sources:

  • Davey, K. 2009. A photographic guide to Seashore Life of Australia. New Holland Publishers, Sydney.
  • Norman, M and Reid, A. 2000. Guide to squid, cuttlefish and octopus of Australasia. The Gould League of Australia, Sydney.