Barra netters blamed for turtle deaths

FOLLOWING good post-floods fishing for big barra on the Boyne River below QLD’s Awoonga Dam, come reports of commercial netting on the river which has resulted in death and injury of local wildlife. 

According to a report in the The Observer, several local residents voiced concerns that turtles were being caught in the nets of pro fishermen who’d set up near the mouth of the Boyne River. One resident reportedly witnessed two turtles caught in nets being retrieved by the fishermen.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has since issued a media release stating the death of native animals on this scale was very concerning and DERM is investigating.

“We already have a number of measures in place at Boyne River and across the state to protect turtles,” the DERM spokesman told The Observer.

“This includes protecting the species under the Nature Conservation Act, declaring the area a State Marine Park and educating the public to drive their boats slowly in turtle habitats.

“Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has already conducted necropsieson the animals and has ruled out boat strikes, starvation and traditional hunting as the cause of death. We will continue to investigate the incident to determine the cause.”

While QPWS has been urging people to contact them to report sightings of dead or injured turtles, locals are upset that QLD Fisheries does not seem concerned by the matter.

A Fisho source who had rung QLD Fisheries to report the turtle deaths was reportedly told, “I hope they catch all the barra and move on, then there will be no problem with the turtles.”

Anyone sighting injured or dead wildlife in the Boyne River region is urged to contact QPWS on 1300 130 372.

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