Three flatback turtles were fitted with satellite transmitters in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia between 28 Sept and 8 Oct 2005. All three turtles nested on West Island which is part of the Sir Edward Pellew Islands in the south west corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
These islands are the traditional lands of the Yanyuwa aborgines who also hold legal tenure to the islands today. The Yanyuwa people continue strong cultural links with the sea, the islands and the animals and plants. Sea turtles and dugongs and still hunted and turtle eggs collected for traditional use. The Traditional Owners of West Island are the Simons family. Thomas Simon helped to attach the transmitters to turtles and named the first turtle (Terisita)his 2 year old niece. His father Tom Simon has helped with previous turtle and dugong projects over the last 12 years. Other families to help with this project include the Traditional Owners of South-West Island, Black Craggy Island and Vanderlin Island.
The Gulf of Carpentaria is a shallow sea between Australia and Papua New Guinea. This is a remote part of Australia with few settlements and townships. pproximately 85% of the coastal region is owned by Aboriginal people. The nearest township to West Island is Borrolola and it lies about 80 km away; 20 km by sea and 60 km by land. It lies on the banks of the mighty McArthur River estuary. Borroloola is an aboriginal township with approximately 1200 people.
This is a joint project between the local Indigenous Sea Rangers (Lianthawirriyarra Sea Rangers), WWF and Parks and Wildlife. The Lianthiwirriyarra Sea Rangers is an inititive of the local Mabnuji Resource Association (partly funded by Northern Territory Fisheries)to provide local people with the resources and training to help them manage their own land and sea resources. Source: seaturtle.org
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Northern Australia - coastal waters
Lianthawirriyarra Sea Rangers, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT, WWF - Australia
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