Cam­paign to save tur­tles

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Dou­glas Lo­cal Ma­rine Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee is launch­ing a cam­paign to pro­mote the RSPCA’s 1300-AN­I­MAL hot­line for sick and in­jured ma­rine life.

Com­mit­tee chair Robert Hanan said Dou­glas beaches had be­come a strand­ing hotspot in re­cent years, and lo­cals and visi­tors were of­ten un­sure who to con­tact when they found an in­jured or stranded turtle.

‘‘ There has been an alarm­ing in­crease in the num­ber of sick or in­jured ma­rine tur­tles wash­ing up on our beaches ever since Cy­clone Yasi hit Far North Queens­land over two years ago,’’ Mr Hanan said.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately we are still see­ing higher than usual num­bers. There have been 14 strand­ings re­ported in the past year. Wonga Beach and Four Mile Beach ap­pear to be par­tic­u­lar hotspots.

‘‘Many lo­cals and visi­tors are con­fused about who they should call, es­pe­cially when it’s out­side nor­mal of­fice hours.

‘‘Over the com­ing weeks we’ll be pro­mot­ing the RSPCA’s hot­line with a sticker on beach signs and com­mu­nity no­tice­boards.’’

The 1300-AN­I­MAL hot­line is open 24 hours a day and is the pri­mary num­ber to call to re­port sick or in­jured an­i­mals, in­clud­ing ma­rine tur­tles.

The RSPCA call cen­tre then con­tacts lo­cal vol­un­teers, rangers or the Cairns Turtle Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre to re­spond, de­pend­ing upon the cir­cum­stances.

Mr Hanan said the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil had been very sup­port­ive and were al­low­ing the stick­ers to be placed on stinger bot­tle con­tain­ers at beaches.

He en­cour­aged com­mu­nity groups and beach­side res­i­dents in­ter­ested in help­ing to spread the 1300-AN­I­MAL mes­sage to con­tact him on 4098 8280 for a sup­ply of stick­ers.

The com­mit­tee would also pro­mote the 1300- AN­I­MAL hot­line at vis­i­tor cen­tres, tackle shops and tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The stick­ers are an ini­tia­tive of the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park Au­thor­ity’s Lo­cal Ma­rine Ad­vi­sory Com­mitt ees and were pro­duced with as­sis­tance from the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion and the RSPCA.

Info: Robert Hanan 4098 8280.

STOP THE STRAND­ING: Robert Hanan with 1300 An­i­mal stick­ers

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