26/02/2016 9:02 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Sydney's Underwater City Gets New Units For Starfish, Crabs And Fish

City of Sydney

A new inner-city development with water views is proving popular -- with Sydney's fish, that is.

Starfish, crabs, bream and snails have moved into a new series of marine habitats -- 60 glorified plant pots -- bolted to seawalls around the city.

The University of Sydney project, with funding from City of Sydney, is a way of remedying the fact that more than half of Sydney's natural mangroves, marshes and foreshore have been developed into stone and cement seawalls.

The project is an extension of a 2014 project in Blackwattle Bay which attracted 28 new species that were pictured on underwater cameras.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the project would ensure the Harbour was stunning above sea level and below.

“Sydney Harbour is one of the world’s great harbours, we need to protect and grow its unique and diverse marine life,” Moore said in a statement.

“We’re working to create a new aquatic corridor along Sydney’s seawall foreshore from Glebe to Farm Cove and through to Elizabeth Bay, providing a connected channel of man-made rock pools for vulnerable marine life.

“This is a simple yet highly innovative project to increase biodiversity in Sydney’s city waterways and create a more resilient ecosystem."

University of Sydney marine ecologist Rebecca Morris said this project could be adapted to other harbour locations playing host to potentially damaging developments.

“This project has already shown that if we take into account the marine environment during the planning stage, some of the negative impacts on marine diversity caused by the development of the Sydney Harbour foreshore could be mitigated," Morris said in a statement.

“It’s hoped that eco-engineering projects like the flowerpots will help rehabilitate biodiversity in areas where natural shores have been replaced because of foreshore development.”