Bays receive good news in first 'health check'

Giant Spider Crab - Leptomithrax gaimardii

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has announced the launch of State of the Bays 2016 - the Victorian Government’s first ‘health check’ for the iconic Port Phillip Bay and Western Port.

The report is a baseline study of the health of both bays, giving a timely stocktake of the current knowledge of ecosystems, habitats and species within the Bays.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the study gave an insightful analysis into all aspects of the bays’ health, including water quality, seagrass and fish species.

State of the Bays 2016 found that water quality was generally good across most indicators and despite their proximity to major urban centres and significantly development catchments, both Port Phillip Bay and Western Port have healthy marine ecoysystems.

The report presents 50 assessments against 36 indicators across the themes of: species (including birds and fish); habitats (including seagrass and rocky reefs); and critical ecosystem functions (including nutrient cycling).

The majority of assessments indicate that species, habitats and ecosystems are healthy and operating as expected. The report also provides recommendations to ensure that government agencies work effectively with stakeholders and the community to monitor the right marine health indicators in the future.

The State of the Bays report incorporates water quality sampling data provided by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).

The report can be found at