Sea Shepherd Calls For Immediate Action Against Cruel Butchery And Illegal Trade Of Dugong And Sea Turtles

ince 2009, Colin Riddell and Bob Irwin of “Save Australian Dugongs and Turtles” have been at the forefront trying to save Australia’s fast disappearing turtles and dugongs. What they have uncovered with the help of former Sea Shepherd volunteer Rupert Imhoff, is compelling evidence of the cruel butchery and illegal trade of endangered dugongs and turtles in Queensland.

They have obtained shocking footage of the live slaughter of vulnerable dugongs and endangered green sea turtles, with some animals taking days to die. Endangered green sea turtles are being tied up, flipped onto their backs and left to suffer a painful death. Some are even being hacked at while still alive, with some taking over 7 minutes to die. The full expose can be seen here with a warning; this story contains distressing footage.

Community leaders admit that the primarily indigenous trade of dugong and sea turtle meat and products uses native title rights as its cover.  The trade in endangered green turtles and dugongs has now become a black market industry.

Mandaburra man James Epong, who lives on his traditional lands an hour south of Cairns and Yarrabah, stated,”Nine times out of ten, the illegal trade is to sell the meat for grog money or drugs. One person we know of in Yarrabah made eighty thousand dollars one year from selling dugong and turtle meat.”

The Mandubarra people have declared a moratorium on taking turtle and dugong from their sea country, but around them, the illegal meat trade continues.

With the loss of vast areas of sea grass habitat due to the Queensland floods, entanglement in fishing gear and nets, the future for the endangered green turtles and dugongs looks bleak, unless we act now.

The oceans that give us up to eighty percent of the air we breath are in deep trouble globally. The single most important thing humanity should be focusing on is ensuring the biodiversity of the oceans.

There can be no special dispensation based on race or culture when it comes to the exploitation of an endangered species.

Sea Shepherd is backing Bob Irwin and Colin Riddell’s call for a moratorium on Dugong and Turtle hunting in Australia.

To demand immediate action on a moratorium on turtle and dugong hunting in Australia, please write to:

Federal Environment Minister Hon Tony Burke MP - Tony.Burke.MP@environment.gov.au
Queensland Environment Minister Hon Vicky Darling MP - derm@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Pro-Shoot Green Councillor Brought Into Line

The Green Party has reiterated its fundamental opposition to bloodsports, following the publication in a leading regional newspaper of pro-shooting comments by a rogue councillor.

Derek Hardcastle, a Green councillor on Kirklees Council, told the Yorkshire Post1 that he is a keen supporter of a local shoot, for whom he acts as a ‘beater’ – scaring birds into the sky so that they can be shot to the ground.

Green Party policy is to ‘fundamentally oppose’ shooting birds for sport and to work towards prohibition. Nearly 50 million pheasants and partridges are purpose-bred in Britain every year for ‘sport shooting’. The vast majority are intensively reared in cages, sheds and pens.

While Cllr Hardcastle sought to promote bird rearing and shooting as a ‘green’ and environmentally efficient food production system, figures from the shooting industry itself show that it costs more than 13 times as much to rear pheasants and get them airborne than the shot birds will fetch retail.2 These figures clearly demonstrate that the activity is about killing for pleasure rather than food production.

Green Party Chief Executive, David Murray, told Animal Aid this week:

‘I can confirm that there have been internal discussions between the national party and the local party member and Green Councillor concerned about this issue regarding beating and shooting, as covered in the Yorkshire Post. I want to make it absolutely clear that the Green Party remains fundamentally opposed to all bloodsports. We oppose the killing of, or infliction of pain or suffering upon, animals in the name of sport or leisure, and will work to end all such practices.’

Says Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:

‘Many people who vote for the Green Party do so precisely because it stands unequivocally against so-called sports that involve breeding millions of animals for the sheer pleasure of killing them. Councillor Hardcastle thought that he could publicly promote his sadistic and environmentally destructive hobby in the name of the Green Party. It was essential that the record was corrected.’

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Meet Earth’s Earliest Animal With A Skeleton

MSNBC:

The oldest animal with a skeleton has been discovered, a creature shaped like a thimble that lived on the seafloor more than a half-billion years ago, researchers say.

These findings shed light on the evolution of early life on Earth, and could also help scientists recognize life elsewhere in the universe.

Hundreds of fossils of the animal, named Coronacollina acula, were discovered in ancient sandstone beds in south Australia, suggesting the area was once a shallow seafloor…