Premier briefed on Kimberley marine research projects

WA Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett released two AFL celebrity into waters off Broome as part of a broader program of marine research in the Kimberley.

The two green sea turtles Cyril and Sharrod, named after the AFL Hawkes forward Cyril Rioli and Eagles defender Sharrod Wellingham by the Yawuru Rangers, were caught in the waters off Roebuck Bay and tagged with a satellite tracking device. Premier Barnett released the turtles as part of the Yawuru Rangers marine turtle monitoring collaboration. The results will be updated daily on

Premier Barnett was also briefed on the Kimberley Marine Research Program by WAMSI program leader Stuart Field (DPaW); a $30million project under WA’s Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy with 10 partner agencies and more than 100 scientists delivering 26 projects.

Researcher Scott Whiting prepares a turtle for release (Photo: Stuart Field, DPaW)
Tagged and ready for release
(Photo: Stuart Field, DPaW)


Premier Colin Barnett releasing Cyril the green sea turtle (@CollinBarnett: Twitter)
Monitor Cyril’s and Sharrod’s progress on

The Premier and Yawuru Rangers watch the sea turtles’ progress (DPaW)


WAMSI-DPaW Stuart Field briefs Premier Colin Barnett on WAMSI marine research in the Kimberley (DPaW)


DPaW Yawuru Rangers sea turtle monitoring:

  • Three species of marine turtle are common residents in Roebuck Bay (Green, hawksbill and flatback turtle), with other species (loggerhead, leatherback) less common.
  • Green turtles are abundant in Roebuck Bay and are ecologically and culturally significant.
  • Green turtles are a primary consumer of seagrass and algae and play a major role in the health of these systems.
  • Green turtles are highly significant in Yawuru culture and are important for food, ceremony, stories and songs.

Results from this study will provide information on:

  • Spatial (where) and temporal use (when) of habitats;
  • What habitats are important and how they use them;
  • How they use the proposed Roebuck Bay Marine Park and areas outside the park;
  • Identify any other spatial areas that are important (for example – are they frequently visiting areas 100 km away):
  • Identify areas where turtles and human pressures overlap (eg shipping lanes);
  • The results will be updated daily on

Kimberley Marine Research Program