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Go slow for those below the surface this Easter

by Qld National Parks Minister on 27 Mar 2013
Props pose danger to dugongs - take care .. ©
Queensland boaties are being reminded to slow down for marine wildlife while enjoying the waters of the Great Sandy Marine Park this Easter.

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said turtles and dugong were at risk from increased boating traffic during holiday periods.

'Many Queenslanders and visitors love to head out on the water over Easter and enjoy a well-earned break,' Mr Dickson said.

'It’s part of our great lifestyle and also one of the big draw cards for visitors, both from interstate and overseas.

'But with more boats on the water it’s important to be mindful of marine wildlife and give our turtles and dugongs a chance to get out of the way.'

Mr Dickson said the best thing boaties could do to reduce their risk to marine wildlife was to slow down.

'Turtles and dugong are surface-breathing marine animals, and may be injured or killed by speeding vessels when they come up for air,' he said.

'A bit of caution and commonsense can make a day out on the water a safe and happy one for all, including the wildlife.'

Mr Dickson said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers would be patrolling Go Slow areas, and anyone caught doing the wrong thing could be issued with an on-the-spot fine of $440.

'Pick up a Great Sandy Marine Park Boaties Quick Guide from local boating outlets or bait and tackle shops and be aware of where the go slow areas are and restrictions which apply,' he said.

Detailed information on the go slow areas and other tips on reducing risks to marine wildlife are available on the National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing website at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.

Anyone who comes across injured, stranded or dead marine wildlife should report it by calling 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

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