Corner Inlet Marine National Park is located 6 kilometres from Yanakie and to the north of Wilsons Promontory National Park This 1 550-hectare park is located 6 kilometres from Anakie and to the north of Wilsons Promontory. Boat access to the Marine National Park is from towns including Port Franklin, Toora Beach, Barrys Beach and Port Welshpool in Southern Gippsland.
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Corner Inlet Marine National Park provides protection of one of the major bays and inlets on Victoria's coast. Within the bays sheltered waters are found communities of four of Victoria's species of seagrasses which form extensive beds here. These include Victoria's most extensive beds of Strapweed or the Broad-Leaf Seagrass Poisidonia australis, the dominant seagrass growing on submerged banks; Swan Grass Zostera muelleri growing in the intertidal areas; Eelgrass Heterozostera tasmanica growing on the top and base of submerged banks; and Southern Paddleweed Halophila australis which grows around the edge of Poisidonia beds and across sandy patches. Beneath the seagrasses there are often many animals and plants. Around the base of seagrasses are occasional clumps of sea squirts, sponges, and various green algae including the fleshy branching Codium fragile or Dead Man's Fingers, and the beautiful feather-like Caulerpa trifaria. Common crabs beneath the seagrasses include the Red Swimmer Crab Nectocarcinus integrifrons and the long limbed Decorator Crab Naxia aurita. Many of the seagrasses have large seasnail populations feeding on the encrusting and attached algae. These include snails such as turban shells and the beautiful Pheasant Snail or Painted Lady Phasianella australis which gather algae with its long flexible body. Feeding on the debris that accumulates within the Marine National Park are a range of seastars including the multi-coloured Common Seastar Patiriella calcar and the Velvet Seastar Patiriella brevispina, burrowing Heart Urchins Echinocardium cordatum, as well as many bivalve molluscs that take in the detritus from the water. Feeding on the scavengers are in turn a range of predators including the 11-armed Seastar Coscinasterias muricata, the black and white seastar Luida australiae, Blue Ringed Octopus Hapalochlaena maculosa and a wide range of fish.
There is considerable evidence that Corner Inlet has been an important part of human experiences for over 5,000 years with extensive Aboriginal shell middens being plentiful along the southern shore. The Brataolong Clan of the Gunai/Kurnai Tribe has strong cultural traditions and practices associated with the Corner Inlet area. Many Aboriginal sites including scarred trees, burial sites, artefact scatters, camps and shell middens have been recorded in the area. Europeans settled in the area in the mid 1800s and established various mining, agricultural and forestry enterprises. Fishing became established by the 1860's once regular steamers made their way from the region back to Melbourne. Changes in the catchment for Corner Inlet have been significant with much of the area which collects freshwater that enters the Inlet now being cleared from the forests which once covered South Gippsland. With these changes much greater volumes of sediment flowed into Corner Inlet, one possible cause for the disappearance of many of the Poisidonia seagrass beds in the northern section of the Inlet.
Precautions & Looking After The Park
Precautions For your own safety, only undertake activities appropriate to your skills and abilities. Take all necessary precautions, be aware of changing conditions, and watch for potential hazards. A number of Victorian marine animals are potentially harmful if not treated with respect and care, ensure that you familiarise yourself with these species. Sunburn and hypothermia are potentially harmful but easily avoided. SCUBA diving is a potentially high-risk activity and should only be undertaken by appropriately qualified people that have completed recognised training and certification. Victoria's cool water environments can be extremely challenging to those used to diving in warmer waters. Dive charter operators can provide some of the best advice on diving in Victoria. Looking After the Park As users of the marine environment, you can help minimise your impact on these areas by being mindful of the following points: * enjoy the marine environment without removing the plants and animals * take any rubbish home with you - do not dump rubbish into the sea * avoid stressing marine life by not chasing or grabbing free-swimming animals * exercise great care if approached by large marine animals (including birds) & avoid blocking their paths * if moving take care where you anchor your boat (anchor in sand, rubble or mud, avoiding sensitive areas, and use mooring buoys where provided) * do not pollute the water with sewage - ensure that if your vessel has an onboard toilet that it has an approved sewage holding facility and that sewage is disposed of appropriately on land * take the time to learn more about Victoria's marine animals and plants and the habitats they depend upon Remember, Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries are NO TAKE ENVIRONMENTS. All objects (artefacts), animals eg. fish and crustaceans, plants, and the seabed are totally protected.