Turtle hatchlings to be released into ocean today
  • Wednesday 18 March 2009

In a happy twist to the oil spill on Coast beaches, 120 turtle hatchlings last night emerged from a nest near Beach Access 3 at Buddina.

The hatchlings were contained by council staff and transported to Mooloolaba’s Underwater World where they will be released at sea some time today under the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency.

To keep them safe, the young turtles will be taken by boat out to deep water where there is no possibility of oil contamination.

Council staff and volunteers worked tirelessly over the past week to ensure the safety of turtle nests on Coast beaches by placing them in enclosures away from the effects of the oil spill.

TurtleCare Sunshine Coast coordinator Julie O'Connor said another 15 nests were due to hatch along Caloundra beaches and these had also been caged to ensure hatchlings did not emerge into contaminated sand or seas.

“Council staff and volunteers have been rotating in shifts around the clock to ensure that these endangered species are protected,” she said.

“It is thanks to their tireless efforts that we have this good news story today of so many healthy turtles emerging and being given their best chance at life.”

People who see turtle tracks, nesting turtles or turtle hatchlings are asked to call at the Sunshine Coast Regional Council on 5499 5136 or 0437 559067.

Anyone who sees dead or injured turtles anywhere on the Sunshine Coast should phone the Marine Strandings hotline: 1300 130 372.

For more information on marine turtles on the Sunshine Coast visit http://www.turtlecare.com.au.