Sea life reflects healthy harbour, turtle activist says

FREEDOM: Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre owner Bob McCosker (right) and maintenance manager Matt Baldwin with two turtles.
FREEDOM: Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre owner Bob McCosker (right) and maintenance manager Matt Baldwin with two turtles.

THERE'S proof in Gladstone Harbour's sea life that our waters are healthy, according to local businessman and turtle activist Bob McCosker.

"People want to go to the easiest source of income whether it's legitimate or not," Mr McCosker said.

"Gladstone has suffered dramatically from the negative view of the harbour."

On Thursday afternoon, two turtles were successfully released from the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

"We see that the fish are big and plentiful, hence why we release them here (in the harbour)," Mr McCosker said.

The rehabilitation centre on Quoin Island Retreat has operated since March last year.

Mr McCosker said the centre is the most technologically advanced in Australia.

"Purely because of the results we are getting," he said.

"The defining difference between us and everyone else is that we monitor what they (the turtles) eat individually."

Mr McCosker is knowledgeable and passionate in his quest to save the species, and resource company APLNG have put their weight behind him.

"The centre is one that we feel is important to support," project manager Kent Anderson said.

The company will provide $140,000 in funds over two years for food, medical and transport expenses.

Mr McCosker said one of the difficulties the centre faces is educating the public.

"If you see a sick animal, grab it," he said.

"We can fix it in two months."

He also blamed recreational fishers for turtles getting caught in lines or nets and starving.

"Every single one of the boat strikes, bar one, already happened to animals that are emaciated and floating," he said.

Details

  • Turtles are mainly received from Rosslyn Bay/Yeppoon, Agnes Water, Gladstone and Boyne Island.
  • 56 received to date since March 2010.
  • About 27 successfully released and about 10 have died while at the centre.
  • Centre includes four tanks, heated pool, treatment room and water filtration system.


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