It’s no mean feat moving a 170kg green turtle, but there were smiles all round when ‘Ella Emily Sugar’ was re-released in the Whitsundays.
Reef Catchments was proud to be the financial sponsor of the release event, with Ella emerging refreshed after spending time in care at the Eco Barge Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre.
Ella was picked up four weeks previously in Pioneer Bay suffering with float. After a round of worming medication and some TLC from Eco Barge’s fantastic crew, the huge turtle was back to full health and ready to be released back into the seagrass lined bay where she was first picked up.
Ella is thought to be over 80 years old, a fully grown adult green turtle. The cause of her float could have been due to being hit by a boat or illness brought on from other environmental stressors. Eco Barge’s Turtle Rescue Centre has provided care for nine turtles like Ella.
Two Reef Catchments officers together with representatives from the Proserpine Indigenous Reference Group (PIRG) joined Libby Edge and Dave Young from Eco Barge on the release and clean-up trip.
After the turtle release the group headed to nearby beaches and mangrove lined rocky shores to clean up marine debris. The amount of waste collected by the team in a few hours was astonishing. The debris included foam mattresses, boat parts (hatches, cabin doors), rope, buoys, fishing line, cans, bottles and much more.
This project is supported by Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government.