College News

Fairholme Eco travellers release Koko the Green Sea Turtle

The girls were commended for their enthusiasm and interest in the important environmental issues that the Eco Barge team deal with on a daily basis. During their visit they participated in a number of projects, such as Litter Prevention, Marine Debris Collection and Analysis, as well as Turtle Rescue (1300 ANIMAL | 1300 264 625), Turtle Care and ways to prevent injury to all sea life.

Data collected from Litter Prevention is entered into Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database › adding further value to the work done by volunteers.

It is however, staggering to note the volume of debris collected by this team in a few short days, and considering this is an ongoing project, we should all be mindful of how we might lesson our own impact on our precious oceans.

A summary of the amazing effort from the students:

Clean Streets and Creeks Program at Bicentennial Park, Cannonvale

(Sponsored by Reef Catchments).

This an effective prevention program to reduce the threat of marine debris and ensure that the marine life and environment are not impacted by local rubbish.

Total Litter Collected: 151 kg = 121 kg plus 2 shopping trolleys

Recyclable items counted: 1094 items (27% by weight)

Items of interest found: Stand up Electric Fan, 2 x Brassieres, Disposable Nappy, numerous straws and cigarette butts (and a random bread packet floating in water, which the girls collected “off duty” – Excellent Work). 

Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre

(Partnership with BHP Billiton, Cruise Whitsundays, Fauna Rescue Whitsunday and Qld Government)

Four Green Turtles are currently in care:

  • Koko: Found off Hamilton Island was malnourished and weak, and suffering from boat strike.
  • Danny: Found near Mackay suffering from floating syndrome
  • Stumpy: Found on Whitsunday Island with left flipper missing due to entangled fishing line.
  • Fuzzy: Found near Boathaven Beach something caught under her unable to dive.

Count and Sort of Marine Debris

(Sponsored by Everyone’s Environment grant)

An important part of the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program is to sort and record the collected debris. The information recorded will identify the most common types of rubbish that are littering the marine environment can help develop proactive ways in preventing this type of debris from ending up in the oceans.

Location of Collected Debris: Maher Island

Total Weight Collected: 342 kg

Number of items counted: 3265 pieces

Items of Interest: 905 Bottle Tops, 270 rubber thongs, 29 cigarette lighters, 20 toothbrushes, 1041 hard plastic remnants.

Qld Parks and Wildlife and Turtle Tagging

Marina Park Rangers, Kay and Megan tagged and weighed Koko for release. Koko’s tag number is K39873 and she weighed a healthy 25kg.

Count and Sort of Marine Debris

Location of Collected Debris: Whitsunday Island (Turtle Bay and Solace Bay)

Total Weight Collected: 283 kg Number of items Counted: 8367 pieces (a lot more items than previous day!!) Items of Interest: 1242 bottle tops, 143 rubber thongs, 28 cigarette lighters, 57 toothbrushes & combs, 3830 hard plastic remnants, 41 buckets/drums, a Domestic Toilet receptacle.

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