Posted 30 August 2013 by Amy Permalink | 3 Comments
politics, election, vote, Tony Abbott, fish, turtles, dugongs
Sometimes I feel that the election campaign is a lot like riding a rollercoaster. (Except that, let’s be honest, rollercoasters are way more fun.) The week before last I was so excited to hear that the Liberal Party had announced plans to provide $5 million to protect dugongs and turtles on the Great Barrier Reef, if elected. Yay! Since these beautiful, gentle animals are considered vulnerable to extinction, they need as much help as they can get.
However, my celebration was short-lived as, this week, Tony Abbott has declared that he will re-open marine protected areas for recreational fishing if he is elected. Ummm ... what? Tony, researchers have predicted that there will be no fish left by 2048 due to overfishing. By that time this election will be a thing of the past, and your friends from the Australian Fishing Trade Show will have long forgotten about your promise, but future generations of Australians will not forgive us for handing them an empty ocean.
Imagine a world without fish? Not only are they vital to the ecosystem, there is a lot more to fish than people realise. Australian crimson spotted rainbowfish are even able to learn to escape from a net, and still remember how to do it 11 months later! So much for fish having short memories. That’s the equivalent to a human remembering something they were taught 40 years ago. (I can’t even remember how to do high school algebra!)
And now Abbott wants to remove some of the very little protection that fish get. You can help fish, and all other animals, by knowing which political parties are promising to put animal welfare on the agenda this election. There’s a really handy guide here. You might like to follow it up with a visit to Dennis the Election Koala to find out exactly how to make your vote count most for animals.
Still got questions? Maybe I can help. Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best :)
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Posted 20 June 2012 by Anthony Permalink | 7 Comments
turtles, dugongs, sea, queensland, hunting, cruelty, victory!
Some great news for turtles, dugongs and turtle-and-dugong-lovers. Thanks to Animals Australia supporters and other caring Australians these two gentle sea animals are now protected by the same animal cruelty laws that protect other animals in Queensland. That means: no more turtles having flippers cut off whilst still alive and no more dugongs being dragged behind boats until they drown. That's definitely worth shell-ebrating!
This turtle-y awesome news was made possible by the thousands of Animals Australia and Unleashed supporters, just like you who wrote letters and signed petitions to pressure pollies and the inspiring efforts of activists, Colin Riddell, Bob Irwin and Rupert Imhoff, to expose the cruelty. This is yet another example of compassionate Australians speaking up for the voiceless and winning.
Although the legal loophole that allowed for their terrible treatment has been closed, turtles and dugongs still face an uncertain future as their population numbers dwindle. The Liberal National Party in Queensland has taken a positive first step, now you can encourage them to protect turtles and dugongs by putting an end to their hunting altogether.
A thank you message for what they've already done, and a little encouragement to go even further can be sent to the Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh, right ... here!!
Interesting dugong fact: it is believed that ye olde time sailors created the legend of mermaids after sighting dugongs. Maybe ye olde time sailors were wearing eye-patches on both eyes.
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Posted 22 May 2012 by Anthony Permalink | 1 Comment
turtles, sea, pollution, hunting, dugongs, queensland, Gary Gungoo!
I always thought that a turtle's fave thing was finding a strawberry to nom on. But I reckon this turtle north of Townsville would be pretty stoked at the moment, even without a strawberry.
The green sea turtle (who was given the awesome name of "Gary Gungoo") was released back into his sea country after 10 months of rehab north of Townsville. The poor little fella had been found suffering from floating syndrome. This problem occurs when turtles eat the rubbish that people dump into the sea, especially plastics and fishing line. Fortunately, Gary Gungoo was given expert care and is now back in the waters off Queensland. Probably chillin' with Nemo and Dory I'd imagine.
Gary Gungoo (man, I love saying that name) was actually found in an area called Hinchinbrook, where local indigenous groups have stopped hunting turtles. Unfortunately sea turtles and dugongs are still fair game around Queensland, and the cruelty involved is terrible. There's also the worry that hunting is pushing some turtles to the brink of extinction. Who would have thought that these gentle reptiles had it so hard??
Luckily, the new QLD govt has promised to make sure turtles and dugongs are protected by the same cruelty laws as other animals, by the end of their first 100 days in office. They've got about 42 days left to make good on their promise.
It's fantastic to see the traditional owner groups who looked after Gary getting in on the action and leading the way. Hopefully with this kind of compassion it won't be long before Dr. Seuss' Yertle the Turtle becomes fact.
"And the turtles, of course, all the turtles are free.
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."
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