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Turtle and dugong go-slow areas in Moreton Bay Marine Park

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					                                                                      Information sheet
Moreton Bay Marine Park                                                           Personal Water Craft (PWC)


           Turtle and dugong go-slow areas in Moreton Bay Marine Park
Jetskis, waverunners, waveriders and similar motorised personal watercraft are often referred to as Personal Water Craft
(PWC). This information sheet is one from a set of five provided for PWC users in Moreton Bay Marine Park (MBMP).
Other information sheets include; PWC use in MBMP, Whales, dolphins and PWC in MBMP, Shorebirds in MBMP and
Moreton Bay Marine Park Zones and PWC.


Feeding area
The seagrass meadows of Moreton Bay provide vital feeding area for dugong and turtles. Species commonly seen in
Moreton Bay include green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles. Leatherback and flatback turtles are also irregular visitors to
Moreton Bay’s seagrass areas. The preferred feeding areas for turtles and dugong are the shallow banks of seagrass that
are accessible at high tides.

Dugong and turtles
Both dugong and marine turtles are slow-breeding species. The female dugong takes up to 17 years to mature and then
only produces one young every five years if the conditions are suitable. Marine turtles do not mature until between the ages
of 30 and 50 and mortality of hatchlings and immature turtles is very high.
The long-term survival of these species is threatened by disturbance such as injury or death from vessel strikes. Speeding
vessels in shallow water have the potential to injure turtles and dugong.

PWC use
The use of personal watercraft (PWC) such as jet skis has become a popular recreational activity in Moreton Bay and is
recognised by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) as a valid use of some parts of the Bay.
However, when PWC are used inappropriately, they can impact on the natural environment by disturbing shorebirds and
upsetting the recreational values of Moreton Bay for other users.

Turtle and dugong go slow areas
Five areas within Moreton Bay Marine Park have been designated “turtle and dugong go-slow areas” to protect these
endangered and vulnerable animals from disturbance and vessel injuries, which can be fatal. These areas help conserve
sea turtles and dugong populations by protecting them from injury and death caused by vessel strikes. In these areas PWC
operators need to travel in a non-planing or displacement mode and operate their PWC in a way to avoid hitting a turtle or
dugong. Breaches of this regulation attract on-the-spot fines of $300.

What can I do to help?
Each PWC operator can do their part to reduce disturbance of turtles and dugong by:

•   avoiding traveling over seagrass beds and in shallow water;
•   keeping a lookout for surfacing dugong and turtles and avoid going near them;
•   staying within the navigation channel when traveling in conservation zones;
•   operating off the plane in “turtle and dugong go-slow areas”; and
•   not entering buffer zones or protection zones.

Regulations
PWC operators must:
   •  drive in a way to avoid hitting a turtle or dugong; and
   •  drive off the plane in turtle and dugong go-slow areas.

Breaches of the above regulations attract on-the-spot fines.

Remember the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hotline number 1300 130 372 or 1300 130 EPA. Use this number
to report any injured or dead marine animals to QPWS.


Page 1 of 2 • June 2005


Environmental Protection Agency
www.epa.qld.gov.au ABN 87 221 158 786
                                           Information sheet




For further information contact:
Moreton Bay District
127 Russell Street
PO Box 402
Cleveland QLD 4163
Ph (07) 3821 9000
Fax (07) 3821 9001




Page 2 of 2 • June 2005            Environmental Protection Agency

				
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Description: Turtle and dugong go-slow areas in Moreton Bay Marine Park