Symposium puts marine turtles in the spotlight

The importance of community and industry involvement in marine turtle conservation was highlighted at a national symposium held in Perth last month, with more than 130 Australian and international delegates in attendance.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob, who addressed the symposium, said Western Australia’s 13,500 km coastline was well known for its rich and abundant marine life, and conservation and effective management of these values was a key priority for the State Government.

“Some of the world’s most remarkable marine wildlife occurs in WA, with six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles inhabiting the State’s waters,” Mr Jacob said.

Parks and Wildlife has a number of turtle conservation programs throughout the State that rely on and are supported by industry, Aboriginal people and the wider community.

“Its scientists, field staff and volunteers have engaged in marine turtle research for more than 30 years and included work such as the tagging and release of more than 28,000 adult female turtles and monitoring of their movements.”

Parks and Wildlife has a number of successful marine turtle monitoring programs throughout the State including at Dirk Hartog Island National Park in Shark Bay and Rosemary Island in the Dampier Archipelago, Eighty Mile Beach in the Kimberley and along the Ningaloo Coast.

“In addition, Parks and Wildlife marine scientists are engaging in new research projects on key turtle nesting beaches in the Kimberley, in collaboration with other scientists through WAMSI,” the Minister said.