Seagrass meadow degradation in Indonesia threatens food security

Research led by Dr Richard Unsworth, marine biologist, Department of Biosciences, Swansea University, will investigate the condition of seagrass meadows off the coasts of Indonesia's South Sulawesi province

The Jakarta Globe features an interview with Dr Unsworth amid growing concerns over losses of the important marine ecosystem across the archipelago.

Dr Unsworth said: “If you're a baby fish, and everything around you probably wants to eat you, you need somewhere to go and hide,” Unsworth began as he tried to explain the importance of seagrass meadows.

“The reef is full of a lot of really big fish that want to eat you. As a juvenile fish, the reef is a really dangerous place to be. But if you're in a seagrass meadow, it's full of dents, shoots, places where you as a small fish can hide."

“Also, in seagrass meadows there are a lot of small shrimps, really small shrimps, small mollusks, full of gastropods you can eat. So you've got shelter where you can hide from big predators, and you don't spend your energy swimming around looking for food. You have much higher chances of survival if you're a baby fish living in a seagrass meadow,” he added.

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