Sea birds grounded in oil spill
A SECOND oil- covered bird has been found off the North Queensland coast as authorities work to have beaches affected by a spill on the Great Barrier Reef reopened.
A member of the public found a brown booby near John Brewer Reef, northwest of Palm Island, last Friday but it was only put into the care of authorities yesterday.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority operations manager Mark Read said it followed the collection of another brown boobyfrom Forrest Beach on Tuesday.
“The bird from Forrest Beach has been assessed and is being watched,” he said.
“The second bird has also been assessed and it appears to be slightly worse off than the first one but it is probably a case where a couple of days of good care … it’s likely to make a full recovery.”
An 800m oil spill about 10 nautical miles off Cape Up- start, was reported to Townsville’s Coast Guard about 7am on July 17, prompting a massive clean- up.
Clean- up workers on Taylors Beach yesterday found a dead juvenile green turtle. It was not known if oil contributed to its death.
Townsville regional harbour master Frank D’Souza said about 120 local and state government staff continued shoreline work from Bronte Beach to the northern tip of Hinchinbrook Island as well Palm Island yesterday as some beaches already cleaned reoiled overnight.
But Mr D’Souza said that work would to be wound back by the weekend to give crews a rest when it is hoped all affected beaches will be reopened.
Anyone who finds unfamiliar material on the beach should avoid making any contact with it and call the pollution reporting hotline on 0427 969 384.
Injured or dead animals can be reported on 1300 264 625.