Just 350m walk down from Wynnum Central and you’re in the waters of Moreton Bay, home to a vast array of different sea creatures, including of course sea turtles. Every year the Queensland Department of the Environment conducts a turtle tagging exercise where they catch turtles in Moreton Bay for their ‘annual health check’.
There are over 10,000 green turtles in Moreton Bay, which is way more than there were in the 1950s when harvesting turtles for soup severely reduced their numbers, and numbers have bounced back since then thanks to the end of turtle harvesting in 1950 and the introduction of protected habitats and nesting beaches in marine parks.
The picture is different for loggerhead turtles, which hatch on Queensland beaches and return 16 years later after travelling the South Pacific Ocean. Loggerheads now face more threats in the open ocean than ever before, such as getting hooked on longlines and swallowing floating plastic debris.
The major threat in Moreton Bay itself is turtles being hit by boats – Joan Pease MP, the Member for Lytton urges boaties to make sure they slow down, saying
“I urge boat users to ‘Go Slow for those below’ and slow their boat speed in estuaries, sandy straits and shallow inshore areas.”