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What you can do

To report marine animal strandings* call the RSPCA Qld on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625). A Queensland Government officer in the relevant region will be contacted with your information and will determine the appropriate response.

* strandings of sick, injured or dead turtles, dolphin, dugongs or whales

The following information is required when reporting a stranding:

  • location (GPS coordinates if possible)
  • a description of what is wrong with the animal (e.g. stranded on beach, injuries, entangled in a net, injured)
  • a description of the animal (type of animal—dugong, turtle, whale, dolphin; condition; size and any identifying tags)
  • photos (if available)
  • your contact details.

Commercial fishers

Commercial fishers are legally obligated to report any turtle or dugong deaths resulting from their fishing activities as soon as practically possible.

What the commercial fishing industry can do

Adopt best practice net principles including

  • Shorter net soak times
  • Higher net inspection regimes
  • Avoid netting near known turtle aggregation areas
  • Report any marine animal interactions.

Recreational fishers

Fishers and boaties can do their part to help marine animals by following the simple steps outlined below:

  • Go slow for those below—avoid shallow seagrass areas. If you cannot avoid seagrass areas, reduce speed to below 10 knots (off the plane) and take extra care.
  • Look out for turtles and dugong—animals are move around to find seagrass to feed on and may appear in areas where they have not been seen before.
  • Take care when fishing—don’t leave behind discarded fishing lines and use non-stainless steel hooks.
  • Get the marine park user guides—know where you need to go slow and stick to recommended regulations in other areas.
  • Be seagrass savvy—be careful not to damage seagrass by careless anchoring or operating of a vessel in shallow water where boat wash or propeller damage can occur.
  • Be a considerate crabber—check crab pots regularly. Set your pots to avoid loose rope floating about in the water and ensure your pot entrances are not large enough to trap a turtle. Familiarise yourself with the guidelines on how to make a new crab pot, or learn how to correctly modify an existing one.

Traditional owners

Traditional Owners have been actively involved in managing and protecting their sea country and its marine life for many years.

For example, in September 2011, four Indigenous groups have entered a landmark voluntary agreement with the State and Commonwealth Governments to protect dugong along several hundred kilometres of the Queensland coast.

The Port Curtis Regional Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreement means no dugong will be taken through hunting in an area extending from Burrum Heads, south of Bundaberg, to—and including—Curtis Island off Gladstone, including coastal waters off Bundaberg, Agnes Water, Seventeen Seventy and Gladstone.

As a part of this agreement, the Traditional Owners will limit their take of green turtles to a maximum of 20 per year for the next five years.

Under the Native Title legislation Indigenous Queenslanders are able to hunt dugong and turtles—practices they have been undertaking for thousands of years and form a vital part of their cultural and spiritual connection with the land and sea.

Last reviewed
7 September 2016
Last updated
14 February 2014