Dugong to be protected from hunting for next decade

DUGONG living in and around the Keppel Islands on the Great Barrier Reef will be protected from hunting for at least the next 10 years, after a landmark agreement was reached with traditional owners.

The agreement with the Woppaburra people of coastal central Queensland was announced by Environment Minister Greg Hunt and state National Parks Minister Steve Dickson on Thursday.

It is part of a series of "traditional use of marine resources agreements" (TUMRA) along the reef's coastline, in a bid to improve the lot of turtles and dugong.

The Woppaburra people signed on for a decade-long moratorium on dugong hunting covering Great Keppel Island and the northern areas of the Keppel Island group off Yeppoon coast.

Mr Hunt said the Yirrganydji people in Cairns also signed up for an agreement to allow some limited turtle and dugong hunting, but also ensure protection efforts remain near the reef.

Another far north traditional owners group, the Gunggandji people, also agreed to "work closely" with the Yarrabah community to establish a "no-take zone" for turtles and dugong hunting at Green Island.

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