The Dugong Action Plan
Marine Turtle Report

This waterway is special. . .

The Great Sandy Marine Park
  The Queensland Government has announced the zoning plans for the Great Sandy Marine Park A Marine Park zone has been mapped immediately to the north of the marina development area, and it is surrounded on all other sides by Conservation Park zone which requires greater protection for the ecological character of the Ramsar site, and greater protection for Tin Can Bay biodiversity, including extensive tidal flats.  

Strategy for the Conservation and Management of Queensland Wetlands
  As a Ramsar Wetland, the Great Sandy Strait (including the Tin Can Inlet) is also classified as a State Significant Wetland and should be subject to this Queensland EPA Strategy  

Ramsar Wetland
This means its natural functions must be protected for the survival of the large numbers of migratory birds that depend upon it for half of every year.
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Vital habitat to a range of protected species

An endangered Dugong
grazing on sea grass in
Tin Can Bay
These include Indo-pacific Humpback Dolphins, Dugongs, Loggerhead and Green Turtles and Eastern Curlew. Increased boat strike, noise & disturbance and water quality impacts would drastically affect these already struggling animals.
  • Great Sandy Strait and Hervey Bay support the largest number of dolphin recorded in Australia.
  • Two communities separated by narrow tidal channels resulting in very little interaction (1 mixed pod).
  • Transient, short term resident, long term resident.
  • Northern Community stable, Southern Community slightly declining.

A Landscape of World Heritage Quality
Tin Can Inlet is a low-flush tidal estuary at the core of the surrounding Cooloola Sand Mass. These ancient soils support intricate and beautifully complex associations of vegetation (wallum) and pass their highly evolved but fragile character on to the waters of the Inlet. Like the finest china, it is not hard to damage and impossible to replace. . . .but it is already under stress.
    • Severe seagrass depletion
    • Fish stock collapse
    • Dugong health & numbers falling
    • Elevated algal activity
    • Etc..
  Shouldn't we get these problems in hand BEFORE we extend the load ?
A scientifically responsible Master Plan is the only way.
We have to improve upon the current method of chaos and crisis.

Migratory Shorebirds
  The coastal wetlands of Great Sandy Strait are of international significance for migratory shorebirds designated under the Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA) and the China Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA). Eighteen of the 24 species listed under these agreements use these wetlands, which are recognised as among the most important roosting areas for migratory trans-equatorial shorebirds in Australia. Studies have identified the Norman Point intertidal sand flats as important roosting habitat for several species protected under CAMBA and JAMBA. Should the proposed dredge spoil deposition go ahead on this area, the habitat would be lost forever. This will be an issue to be considered by the Federal Government under its obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.  

Dolphins, Dugong, Turtles and Whales
  The seagrass beds of Great Sandy Strait support a significant population of dugong. At least two species of dolphin, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the common dolphin (Delphinus delphinus) are commonly observed in the Strait. Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have also been recorded. Great Sandy Strait provides feeding grounds for four species of sea turtle: the green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and flatback (Natator depressa), plus a further two: leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) recorded as occasional visitors.
The action plan for Australian Cetaceans (Whales)

National Whale and Dolphin Research Conference
  Adelaide 21-22 February 2006
  The National Whale and Dolphin Research Conference was held on 21-22 February in Adelaide, South Australia. The conference brought together stakeholders interested in research, conservation and management of whales and dolphins in an effort to identify gaps in scientific knowledge and determine future research directions and priorities.

Research on Humpback Dolphins In The Great Sandy Strait & Hervey Bay, QLD by Daniele Cagnazzi, Peter Harrison & Graham Ross of Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre

An Aerial shot of Norman Point showing the natural beauty of Tin Can Bay

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