Turtle Rescue Cairns – Saving the Sea Turtle

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre was established as a facility designed for treatment of ill and injured turtles in Far North Queensland and Cape York Peninsula. The centre works towards the recovery of threatened marine turtle species in conjunction with a local veterinary clinic. Since 2002, 21 turtles have been successfully rehabilitated and released in the region where they were found. Unfortunately 24 turtles have died during attempts at rehabilitation, a not unexpected result when considering the poor condition of these animals when brought into the centre. The majority of the stranded animals brought to the centre from Great Barrier Reef waters had ‘floaters disease’ with only one suffering from fibropapilloma virus. Qantas -Link Airlines has assisted in transport of turtles from the west coast of Cape York Peninsula where the Napranum Land Protection Unit rescued many stranded turtles. These have been injured due to entanglement in ‘ghost nets’. Injuries can be so severe that flippers have been lost or had to be amputated.
Donations Can be made at:
Marlin Coast Veterinary Surgery
Cnr Aropa St & Cook Hwy, Trinity Beach, QLD 4879
Phone: +61 (0)7 4057 6033

Latest Global Reef Report

One of the biggest decisions when planning a dive holiday is where to go and then who to choose. Choosing your vacation spot should take into account your impact on the reefs you will visit and enjoy. The latest global report “Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008” by Clive Wilkinson details the effect of management practices in different areas of the world and damages sustained of the last four years since the last report. This report should assist in your decision.
Page 11 of the report show the general health of reefs by regions in table form.
Page 18 shows the ongoing monitoring level per region.

In Australia, the report clearly shows the work between the various bodies, such as GBRMPA, Dive and Charter Operators, the Fishing Community as well as the general local community, is showing real results and will continue to improve the health and the condition of the Great Barrier Reef. Below is and extract from the report and I urge further governments around the world to adopt the model used here in Australia to avoid more reefs being categorised as lost.

“Reefs of Australia continue to be well managed and relatively stable with no major climate change or cyclone events damaging the reefs since 2004. Management continues to set the benchmark for best practice, both in Eastern Australia on the Great Barrier Reef and, more recently, off Western Australia. Particular features are the effective partnerships between coral reef science and management. The situation is the reverse in Papua New Guinea with inadequate coral reef conservation and monitoring, with most of this being performed via large NGOs working with local communities. PNG still has vast areas of healthy and biodiversity-rich coral reefs but human pressures, both from within and externally, are increasing.”

Global Warming and the Great Barrier Reef

News.com has reported the first species to become extinct because of global warming it is the White Possum, native of North Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree Rainforest is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef so let’s hope this is not an ominous sign of things to come. Greenhouse gases hit record highs in 2007 according to the World Meteorological Association.
These World Heritage Parks both the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropical Rainforest are preserves that have been set aside for future generations of global citizens to enjoy.
So it is important YOU take the time to do some little things that will cut down on emissions and limit your use of fossil fuels. Here are some easy things to do that benefit both you and the planet as a whole.

1. Walk or ride a bicycle to the local shops instead of driving.
2. When choosing a car, buy a car suitable for your everyday use, if you need a bigger car occasionally rent one. It’ll save you money everyday as well as on insurance and repairs.
3. Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent or LED bulbs. I know ladies they show complexion issues but vanity is a small price to pay.
4. Don’t run the hot water for a minute to rinse something, most of the hot water is wasted in the pipes and the hot water heater needs to heat that water again.
5. Keep Air-conditioning and Heaters on only for the extremes and set the temperatures at a reasonable level.
6. Reuse and recycle plastics whenever possible especially water bottles. It is incredible to me that people pay more for water in a plastic bottle then they do for soft drinks and other processed products in the same bottle.

More information can be found on the AIMS website also as detailed in our previous post.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has published a number of publications providing information on the effect of Global Warming on the Great Barrier Reef. They can be found on their website.

The Real Shark Experience

Many of our guests get to experience swimming with a shark up close and immediately they see the myths around sharks are exactly that, myths. These encounters are often the highlight of the trip for people that only a few days before were terrified to share the water with a shark.
Shark Water is about to be released in Australia on May 15th. It is a great documentary and well worth a trip to the theatre. If you are interested is showing your support there are many shark support organizations listed the movies’ website.
The timing of the release of the movie is perfect considering that there is a current push to legitimize the fishing and finning of sharks on the Great Barrier Reef. You can voice your objection via AMCS at their website .