Current cumulative pressures on marine turtles in the Great Barrier Reef include incidental capture in some fishing gear (e.g. nets, crab pots), boat strike, ingestion of and entanglement in marine debris, illegal hunting, unsustainable traditional hunting, coastal development impacting nesting beaches and hatching success, and disease

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Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre

The Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre has been launched at Eco Barge HQ to ensure that any sick or injured marine turtles are provided the care that they need. The Centre has five quarantine tanks, with 55 turtles being received for care since May 2013.

Prior to the opening of the Centre in Airlie Beach, any stranded turtles needed to be transported to Reef HQ Turtle Hospital in Townsville (three and a half hours north of Airlie Beach). However, the large number of strandings in recent years has often seen this turtle hospital at capacity, meaning some turtles were unable to receive the care they needed. The purpose of the local Centre is to work in close contact with Reef HQ Turtle Hospital, and providing Reef HQ has the space, high priority turtles will still be transported to Townsville, but all other turtles will receive care at Eco Barge HQ. 

Related to this, Eco Barge is also initiating a structured program using local volunteers to ensure a response to all reported turtle stranding events in the Whitsunday region.

How you can help...

Our turtle care is obviously an exciting new direction for Eco Barge, and we are in need of volunteers to assist with the running of the Rescue Centre, as well as members from the community that may be able to help in the response of a stranded turtle. Please contact us if you would like to get involved or find out ways in which you can help with this important work.

If you ever see a sick or injured marine turtle please contact the RSPCA Qld animal stranding hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (264 625) or Fauna Rescue Whitsundays on (07) 4947 3389.

Marine debris removed from the
Whitsunday islands since July 2009
= 174,764 kilograms