Protecting sea turtles awareness day

Coast lovers met Theodore the turtle mascot at Reef Catchments final Coastcare event for 2015.

Coast lovers met Theodore the turtle mascot at Reef Catchments final Coastcare event for 2015.

Theodore the Turtle mascot at Reef Catchments final Coastcare eventDo you get excited when you spot a turtle swimming along the Mackay coast?

 Volunteer turtle-lovers came together this December at Harbour Beach to help protect our beautiful beaches and marine wildlife, taking part in the final Coastcare activity for 2015.

The event allowed participants to learn about the sea turtles nesting on our beaches and living off the Mackay Coast.

More than 25 volunteers took part in a clean-up, followed by a turtle talk and nesting presentation from Fay Griffin (Mackay and District Turtle Watch Association).

Together, the group removed over 50kg of litter – predominantly small pieces of plastic, cable ties, rope and fishing line.

Reef Catchments Coasts and Biodiversity Project Officer Jess Berryman said the clean-up and presentation event was well attended and gave participants the opportunity to better understand their local marine environment.

“Queensland is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles and all species are considered to be endangered or vulnerable. Marine litter poses one of the greatest, but also most solvable threats to marine turtles.

“The debris items collected by our volunteers at this event were all things which turtles and other wildlife might eat or become entangled in,” she said.

“Being a part of Coastcare is a great opportunity to do something positive for our wildlife. At this final event for 2015, we were absolutely thrilled to have Fay Griffin from Mackay and District Turtle Watch Association volunteering her time and expertise to share her knowledge on marine turtles in Mackay.

“You have no idea how much there is to know about turtles until you’ve talked to Fay!”

Ms Berryman said major points reinforced during the presentation included the need for the community to keep dogs on leashes while walking and in yards at night.

“Fay also spoke about the need to keep vehicles off bridges and being aware around engine propellors on boats to prevent turtles accidentally hitting obstacles on surfacing. It’s also important to never leave your fishing line in or near the ocean, and remember that every small piece of litter makes a difference – if everyone picked up litter where they saw it, we would have a much cleaner Coast.”

Turtle enthusiasts also took part in a nesting demonstration and have the chance to meet and have a photo with Theodore the turtle mascot. The event included a fun sausage sizzle and colouring and DIY keychain making fun for young participants.

If you see a sick or injured turtlecall 1300ANIMAL (1300 264 625). 

CLICK HERE to join the Coastcare mailing list and learn more about beach events in 2016. 

CLICK HERE to download the 2016 calendar. 

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