04 December 2008

Mutilated Green Sea Turtle and Fishing Debris

Green sea turtle, O8R051 was found mutilated by fishing gear debris. It took zoo staff four months to rehabilitate the creature.:

"A fishing line had cut a flipper to the bone and X-rays showed she also had a fish hook lodged in her throat. Her face had been badly bruised when she thrashed out in panic with her flippers in vain attempts to escape the fishing line. The bruising triggered an eye discharge, leaving her almost blind....We see a lot of turtles here... estimating half have swallowed fishing lines or hooks, or have become entangled in lines. Many others have ingested garbage. Still others have been attacked by cats or dogs on beaches." SMH

Once a marine park is established, it would be desirable to prohibit this mutilation, by-kill and mindless sharing of marine debris. 'Recreational Taking & Chucking' is a threat to biodiversity. "We can't expect to have over 93 per cent of our waters open to fishing and be aware of the fact that our marine life is declining and our habitats are being degraded and not expect that trend to continue." (abc) The control of introduced canines assaulting Australian fauna would require a mind-set change.

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