Turtles found dead on beach
INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the death of 10 green turtles found washed up on the beach in Boyne Island and Tannum Sands.
Nine juveniles and one adult turtle were found dead on the Boyne Island beach and adjacent Canoe Point tip near the mouth of the Boyne River last Sunday.
The discovery was reported to Gladstone and District Wildlife Carers Association by a member of the public about midday.
Group president and wildlife carer Jodi Jones attended Boyne Island beach soon after and witnessed the grisly scene, which deeply angered and upset her.
Mrs Jones said each of the turtles appeared to be healthy, beautiful specimens with no visible signs of trauma.
She said it was worrying considering it was not a natural occurrence that would normally happen.
“I just cried,” Mrs Jones said.
“I could not believe my eyes.”
Having rescued many turtles from the Boyne River suffering from floating syndrome, Mrs Jones said none of these dead turtles showed the tell-tale signs associated with this syndrome or obvious signs of any other injuries or illness.
Although there is no proof at this stage, there is mounting speculation that the deaths of the turtles are the result of drowning.
A number of residents have voiced their concerns to The Observer that the turtles are being caught in the fishing nets of professional fishermen set up near the mouth of the Boyne River – with one resident reportedly witnessing two turtles, that were caught in nets, being retrieved by the fishermen early yesterday morning.
The deaths have been reported to the Environmental Protection Agency with the Department of Environment and Resource Management stating the death of native animals on this scale was very concerning, and DERM was investigating the incident.
“Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has already conducted necropsies on the animals and has ruled out boat strikes, starvation and traditional hunting as the cause of death,” the spokesman said.
REPORT YOUR CONCERNS
- Members of the public should report findings of dead, sick or injured marine wildlife to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service on 1300130372.
- Reports of fishing nets left unattended or any other illegal fishing activity should be made to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800017116.