Marine plant and animal life

Our marine environments provide a home for some truly unique plant and animal species. Find out more about the whole different world underwater.

The Weedy Sea-dragon, Victoria's state marine emblem, is just one of the many unique species found in marine environments along the Great Ocean Road coast.

Kelp forests, with their towering brown kelp seaweeds, are unique habitats of our south-east waters. They provide food and shelter for the Weedy Sea-dragon, a variety of fish, cute and comical Australian Fur Seals, and even the odd White Pointer Shark - an endangered species in our waters.

These habitat types occur in the Barwon Heads Marine Sanctuary and the larger Point Addis Marine National Park, 4,500 hectares of protected marine habitat where spectacular and diverse marine life abounds.

It's quite astounding that most Victorians don't realise how special our south-east waters are - more than 85 per cent of the plants and animals living there are found nowhere else on the planet! That's definitely something worth celebrating and protecting for the future.

A guide to coastal life is available through the Victorian National Parks Association. "Life on Rocky Shores" is a guide to life on the interface between sea and land with colour photographs, descriptions and ecological notes for common animals and plants found on rocky shores in south-eastern Australia. Click here to purchase a copy.

Weedy Sea-dragonThe Weedy Sea Dragon is Victoria's state marine emblem.
An underwater world in decline: Kelp forests are under threat, learn more here.