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Demand stronger regulations to save turtles dying from coastal developments in Australia.
A controversial expansion of Gladstone harbour, located in Queensland, Australia, is believed to have killed dozens of sea turtles, according to a report that contradicts the findings of the Queensland government in relation to the deaths.
Studies conducted by James Cook University found that the dredging of Gladstone harbour contributed to an unusually large number of turtle mortalities. The dredging was done by the Queensland government to increase the capacity of the harbour so it can handle liquefied natural gas exports.
Researchers from James Cook found that the dredging caused metals to be dispersed from the seabed. Analyses of blood from captured turtles showed high doses of arsenic, cobalt, mercury and nickel. Furthermore, examinations of 56 green turtles found the presence of various infections.
In addition to the risks from pollution, the study found that the Gladstone harbour expansion has increased the risk of ships striking turtles. Around 15% of turtles found stranded displayed evidence of being hit by boats or propellers.
Greg Hunt, the federal environment minister, has ordered an inquiry. Demand that Mr Hunt takes action to create stronger regulations on future coastal developments to protect turtles.
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