Boaties implored to go slow after 6 turtle deaths
BOATIES are being reminded to ‘go slow for those below’ after six turtles died last month due to boat strikes or propeller cuts in Moreton Bay.
Double Island Point is already a permanent go-slow area, but boaties near the Cooloola Coast are urged to go slow in light of the extra activity on the water during school holidays.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS:
The Department of Environment and Science is concerned with these deaths and believes the tally could be higher as not every incident is reported.
Four turtles recently killed by boats or propellers have been adult-sized.
With school holidays in full swing, DES is expecting to see an increased amount of traffic on our waterways and is encouraging boaties to reduce their speed in estuaries, sandy straits, shallow inshore areas and reef flats, and avoid shallow seagrass meadows if possible.
Skippers travelling through “go slow” areas must operate their boats ‘off the plane’, and cannot operate boats in a manner or at a speed that would reasonably be expected to result in striking a turtle or dugong.
Turtles and dugongs are at risk of being injured or killed when they come to the surface for air.
QPWS rangers regularly patrol Go Slow areas and boaties doing the wrong thing in a go-slow area can receive an on-the-spot fine of $533.
Anyone who comes across injured, stranded or dead marine wildlife should report it by calling 1300 130 372.
There are designated go-slow areas in some marine parks – details are in the marine parks visitor guides and zoning plans on the DES website https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/coasts-waterways/marine-parks.
Examples of permanent go-slow areas include Double Island Point in Great Sandy Marine Park, and Amity Banks in Moreton Bay Marine Park.
Cooloola and Bribie Island Recreation Areas have been designated Restricted Access Areas under the Recreation Areas Management Act to assist with managing visitor numbers and community safety as part of the government’s COVID-19 response.
You must secure a COVID-19 RESTRICTED ACCESS AREA AUTHORITY to enter these Restricted Access Areas before travelling even if you hold a valid vehicle access permit. This is available for no additional cost to the normal requirements for vehicle and camping permits.
There are two (2) ways you can use your vehicle access permit while the Restricted Area Access declaration is in place. These must be acquired in the sequence as follows:
1.If you intend camping:
a.Firstly – You must have a valid camping permit (which includes a COVID-19 RESTRICTED ACCESS AREA AUTHORITY ) for the duration of your visit; and
b.Secondly – Acquire a current vehicle access permit, or you can use your existing one (which must cover the period of camping and can only be used for the dates of your camping permit).
2.If you are a day visitor:
a.Firstly – You must acquire a COVID-19 RESTRICTED ACCESS AREA AUTHORITY from http://qpws.bookeasy.com(external link); and
b.Secondly – Acquire a current vehicle access permit, or you can use your existing one (which can only be used only for the dates of your COVID-19 RESTRICTED ACCESS AREA AUTHORITY).
To book, or for more information, visit the Queensland National Parks Booking Service.