By Bruce MacKenzie
There's growing concern about a wave of turtles being stranded on far north coast beaches.
Keith Williams, from Australian Seabird Rescue, says 14 gravely ill turtles have been taken into care this week.
He says a similar phenomenon occurred last year, but it's not known what's causing it.
Mr Williams says both green and hawksbill turtles are washing ashore.
"The hawksbill turtles are a particularly endangered species that we're concerned about, and they represented a large number of the turtles that stranded last year," he said.
"So it's a worry that we're starting to see some more of them again.
"There's clearly something going on out there, and we're going to have to use some detective skills maybe to work out what it is.
"The most common thing we see certainly is them having eaten plastic, that's about one third to 40 per cent of the turtles that we're seeing.
"For most of the rest it's parasite infestation, and that's indicating to us that they're struggling in their diet.
"They're not getting enough food and so they're susceptible to other kinds of organisms."