Kristina and the Save Our Turtles Initiative
I am proud to help the EPA’s Turtle Conservation Team with Dr Col Limpus who has devoted the past 30 years of protecting Queensland’s sea turtle population and Ocean Watch Australia and David Kreutz. I believe we need to help give back – to make up for what we take from the sea and work together in helping the future. This special turtle ‘Samie’ has a turtle tracking device attached to her shell so her every movement can be tracked and recorded.
Samie the Turtle was hit by a boat in May 2005 and her injuries have now healed.
Please remember that when you are in the bay to go slow because Samie is down below.
Samie the Green Turtle
Moreton Bay in Queensland is home to one of the largest congregations of turtles in Australia. Unfortunately the mortality rate is unacceptably high. One contributing factor is death and injury due to boat strike. The mitigation measure applied to reduce this mortality event is ‘Go Slow Zones’ for vessels. Samie was part of a project used to gather information concerning the effectiveness of these zones.
Samie is an immature female green turtle that was captured on
7 Sept 2007 on the western side of the Moreton Banks of Moreton Bay in Brisbane. She was previously captured in the same general area on 15 May 2000, on 3 Jun 2002 and again on 24 Apr 2005. On the last occasion she was recovering from having been chopped by a propeller and was badly injured. The healed scars were still clearly visible.
She was released that afternoon at 5.45pm at Cleveland Point with her satellite tag attached. She immediately started heading back towards where she was caught and within six days she was back in the same area where she is known to live. Over the next three and a half months Samie remained in the waters of the western Moreton Banks, generally moving from the inter-tidal flats to the sub-tidal areas on the western margin of the banks during high tide and back again as the tide fell. On 29 December, 114 days since being deployed, her tag ceased transmitting.
Samie clearly demonstrated the importance of fishing and recreational vessels in Moreton Bay to not only respect the recognized ‘Go Slow Zones’ but to also be aware that turtles do not know where these zones start and stop.
An adult Green Turtle was caught in March 2010 basking in the mangrove swamp near Harvey Bay. He was named Ulysses. He had a satellite tag, co-sponsored by Samies Girl, applied to its shell and was released in the same area as he was caught. Virtually nothing is known about these animals – do they live there all year, do they forage further afield, and how much time do they spend in the mangroves? Ulysses was the first turtle from this area to be sat tagged and provided us with valuable data on behaviour, feeding and migration.
Save Our Sea Turtles
Kristina Georges from Samies Girl Seafood Market has been active over the last five years with regard to marine turtle education and research. SOS – Save our Sea Turtles is an initiative of Samies Girl and Belldi Consultancy, a turtle research company. Together they are promoting an appreciation and awareness of sea turtles by the children and adults of Australia and to assist scientists and fishers in their endeavours to conduct research that will improve our understanding of these amazing animals and to help to take them off the endangered lists.
Profits from the sale of reusable insulated bags with the SoS logo and sold at Samies have been used to fund activities including:
- A donation of a ‘One in a Thousand Marine Turtle Education Kit’ and the turtle educational novel ‘Angels Do Swim’ to over 1000 primary schools in Queensland.
- The creation of an education package on sustainable fisheries for primary school students. Fishery scientists will be using these resources during lectures to Queensland children at no cost to the school or students.
- Satellite tag and associated costs for Samie, Green Turtle sat tagged on Moreton Banks, Moreton Bay, September 2007 and tracked for 3.5 months as part of a project evaluating ‘Go Slow Zones’.
- Satellite tag for Ulysses – adult Green Turtle caught and tagged basking in the mangroves in Hervey Bay – March 2010.
Go Green, Reward Yourself
and Help the Environment
Did you know tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals and turtles are killed every year from plastic bag litter in the marine environment as they often mistake plastic bags for food such as jellyfish?
Plastic bags cannot be digested or passed by an animal so it stays in the gut which prevents food digestion leading to a very slow and painful death. As plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to break down, once an animal dies and decays after ingesting plastic, the plastic is then freed back into the marine environment to carry on killing other wildlife.
You can find out more about plastic bags and their devastating affect on the environment at www.planetark.com.
Samies Girl has environmentally friendly chiller bags you can use again and again on each visit to Samies Girl and reduce your need to use plastic bags that may find their way into our environment.
Angels Do Swim
‘Angels Do Swim’ is a story book written by Kristina. It tells the story of Princess Penelope and her love for turtles. It discusses, in a whimsical, inventive and enjoyable fashion, the plight of marine turtles, and other marine life, as a result of pollution and other human activities. Filled with beautiful images, the book is a treasure that delights and educates our children on what they can do to help the amazing sea turtles to survive their many challenges.
Marine Turtle Education Kit for Teachers
The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation in conjunctionwith Belldi Consultancy, the Queensland Environmental Protection Authority and internationally acclaimed filmmaker, ‘Hatchling Productions’, has released a sensational film and associated Teachers Kit focusing on the plight of the marine turtle in Australia.
This DVD aims to unite nations and communities to celebrate marine turtles and to support their conservation. While increasing public awareness and understanding of the threats faced by marine turtles, the campaign will also highlight the work of dedicated organisations that are striving to conserve these ancient creatures and the habitats on which they depend.
This film follows the story of turtle found injured on a beach and highlights best practice techniques to maximise survival. It is also a source of comprehensive information on identification through to the turtle lifecycle.
The story has been developed to appeal to children of all ages, and coupled with captivating video sequences, it’s ‘edutainment at its best’. The DVD culminates years of research and development into understanding the generally elusive sea turtle.
Only one in a thousand turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood. So educational resources such as this that help educate children on enhancing turtle survivial are invaluable to ensuring that turtles are around for a long time to come.
- 667 primary schools in Queensland were sent the ‘One in a Thousand Marine Turtle Education Kit’.
- 667 primary schools in Queensland were sent ‘If Angels Could Swim’.
- Satellite tag and associated costs for Samie the Turtle – immature green turtle caught on Moreton Banks, Moreton Bay on 7 September 2007. Tracked for 3.5 months as part of a project evaluating ‘Go Slow Zones’.
- Satellite tag for Princess Penelope the Turtle – adult green turtle caught and tagged basking in the mangroves in Hervey Bay in 2009.
- Cohosted a sponsor stand (with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation) at the 2009 International Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation Symposium including providing free sample bags filled with turtle associated material including ‘If Angels Could Swim’.
Life Amphibious is the dramatic attempt of Lloyd Godson, a visionary young adventurer and marine scientist, to swim 100 nautical miles of the Ionian Sea off Greece using
Life Amphibious is an adventurous expedition that blends Greek mythology and seafaring adventure with the risks and thrills of high-tech invention. Australian marine biologist Lloyd Godson and his Greek partner Carolina Sarasiti will migrate 100 nautical miles through the Ionian Sea from Corfu to Ithaca off the west coast of mainland Greece in two separate phases.
Phase 1 (pilot phase): Fiskardo, Kefalonia to Vathy, Ithaca
Departure: Monday September 28 2009 from Fiskardo, Kefalonia
Arrival: Saturday October 2 to Vathy, Ithaca
Phase 2 (expedition phase): Corfu to Ithaca
Departure: 2010 from Corfu
Arrival: 2-3 weeks later in Ithaca
For further information about the project, please visit www.lifeamphibious.com
The motivation behind this kind of project is to get young people excited about science and engineering. In these days of challenging new economies, we are going to need engineers even more than we have before. We’re also going to need people who understand the ocean and therefore need projects like Life Amphibious to capture
Life Amphibious is a way of tackling environmental and climate change in a fun, provocative and scientific way. The objective is to inspire public environmental awareness by using technological innovation in a stimulating and adventurous way, echoing the mythical journeys of Homer’s Odysseus and Julius Verne’s Captain Nemo.
Underwater cameras will allow us to conduct sub-tidal biodiversity surveys by recording either time-lapse or continuous video. This will be linked to surface observations we make from the support vessel using a multi-beam sonar. The submarines slow speed will also give us the potential to do some invasive marine species and marine pollution surveying.
In addition, the expedition aims to contribute to the protection of two of Europe’s most endangered marine species, the Monk Seal and the Loggerhead Turtle, as well as inform and educate the general public about their conservation. Only about 40 monk seals remain in the Ionian Sea, and now live in isolated coastal caves around Ithaca. The human-powered submarines will allow us to easily access these areas in a way that does not cause a human disturbance.
Environmental education will constitute a major part of Life Amphibious. Lloyd and Carolina will make daily stops to communicate with local schools, social groups and individuals from the Ionian Islands. In addition, schools from around the world will be able to participate via live and interactive webcasts. Stimulating project presentations will help students acquire an awareness of their environment and its related problems and sensitivity to the global environment.
For further information about the project, please visit www.lifeamphibious.com