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Marine Turtles within Isaac

Marine turtles are often called the ancient mariners of the sea. They have been swimming in the sea for more than 150 million years. Turtles have changed little over the millennia, now only coming ashore to lay eggs, producing another generation to swim the seas.

Isaac Regional Council is active in the management of marine areas for the protection of marine turtle species. Protection of these species is important for the survival of marine turtles and the continuation of turtle habitation along the Isaac Region coastline.

While traveling along the coast or conducting recreational activities; be aware of marine turtles.

  • Be sure to slow down if operating a recreational vessel within areas where sea turtle are known to inhabit
  • Don’t litter or dispose of rubbish other than within designated disposal facilities or bins
  • Do not throw plastic bags, fishing line, and other rubbish into the sea or onto the beach.
  • During breeding do not harass or disturb turtles that come ashore
  • Do not approach closely or shine lights on a turtle that is leaving the water or moving up the beach.
  • Minimise bright lights and noise within breeding/laying areas
  • Keep all pets away from turtles that have come ashore

Species found within Isaac Regional Council Waters

Six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle live in the waters off the Isaac Regional Council coastline, and all occur within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Some species such as the loggerhead and green turtle are seen frequently, while others such as the olive ridley and leatherback are known to occur in the Isaac Region but are seldom seen.

For information on the identification of turtle species visit Great Barrier Reef Marine Turtles

Legislative protection - Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

In Australia, all six species of marine turtles that occur in our waters are protected under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The leatherback, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtle are each listed as endangered under the EPBC Act which means that these species may become extinct if the threats to their survival continue.

The green, hawksbill, and flatback turtle are each listed as vulnerable which means that they may become endangered if threats continue.

What do I do if I find a Stranded Sea Turtle?

From time to time sea turtles can be washed up on shore within the Isaac Region, management of stranded animals is key in the protection of the species and notification of populations.

If you find a stranded turtle while visiting a beach or coastal area within Isaac Regional Council contact the RSPCA Stranding Hotline immediately with details of the animal, location, and status.

For more details on Turtle Stranding: I’ve found a stranded turtle. What do I do?

Contact Details:

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service/RSPCA Stranding Hotline

Telephone: 1300-ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

For More Information

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Marine Wildlife Stranding

Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing