Conference Call: Thursday, Feb 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm PST (approx. 45 minutes)
Thanks to everyone who participated in the call! Read more below to learn more. The comments from the call are posted here. and below.
The Kimberley and its Sea Turtles
Vibrant with red rock, white beaches and turquoise seas, this little-known and sparsely civilized corner of Western Australia is rich with unique flora and fauna. The area is home to flatback, green, loggerhead, hawksbill, olive ridley and leatherback sea turtles; of these six species, the flatback is the only one to nest exclusively in Australia. Due to the Kimberley's remoteness and ruggedness, it has remained relatively untouched - until the recent wave of proposed industrial development.
See Kimberley and turtle images on short video here.
See Kimberley humpback whale video by The Wilderness Society of W.A.
Take Action to stop the gas hub by clicking here.
View The Wilderness Society action here.
Read the conservation call comments from Teri Shore and Jill St. John here.
Read more about the flatback and download a PDF here.
For more detail about the Kimberley and its sea turtles, click here.
The Threat: Fossil Fuel Frenzy
The Australian government is behind a proposal to build a massive natural gas processing plant on the unspoiled coast of the Kimberley. The "Browse LNG Joint Venture" involves Woodside Petroleum, Chevron, Shell, BP and BHP Billiton. If approved, this project would destroy flatback nesting habitat, have severe and irreversible impacts on a range of unique and threatened species and pristine natural ecosystems, and severely impact the social fabric and economic future of the region. Read more here.
STRP Action to Protect the Kimberley's Sea Turtles
The sea turtles of the Kimberly are under immediate threat from natural gas development and need the world's attention. STRP, working with its allies the Wilderness Society of Western Australia and other concerned NGOs and citizen groups, is gathering signatures for a Global Statement of Concern, and is calling on supporters to write to Australian Minister of Environment to urge him to permanently protect sea turtles and other marine life in the Kimberley from the fossil fuel frenzy.
About Teri Shore (right in photo below) Teri Shore is program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network (the Sea Turtle Restoration Network's parent organization). Teri has teamed with TIRN's program staff and members to win new protections for sea turtles from commercial fisheries, save sea turtles during the BP oil spill, and advance the GotMercury.org project. Recently, Teri has been building international support to protect Australian flatback sea turtles in the Kimberley of Northwest Australia from rampant oil and gas exploitation. Teri directed the national campaign that achieved a sea turtle marine reserve closed to shrimp fishing in Texas waters and advanced the turtle-safe shrimp certification program. Shore also worked for seven years as campaign director at Friends of the Earth (previously Bluewater Network) advocating for cleaner marine vessels, where she achieved stringent passenger ferry-emissions standards and new pollution laws for cruise ships and ocean-going vessels. Shore is also a journalist who has authored numerous environmental articles and reports.
About Dr. Jill St. John (on left in photo) Growing up on Sydney's beautiful harbor, Jill fell in love with the ocean at an early age. She graduated from Sydney University with BSc (Hons) and completed her Ph.D in Marine Biology at James Cook University studying coral trout, a large predaceous fish. Jill pursued further research as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Okinawa, Japan, at the Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Ishigaki Tropical Station, Japan. She moved to Perth with her family to work on large temperate fish with the Western Australian Department of Fisheries. After eight years at fisheries, Jill moved to The Wilderness Society of Western Australia to work on marine conservation. In her job, Jill advocates for the protection of marine life, particularly protected species such as flatback turtles and humpback whales. Jill has been working with The Wilderness Society for three years. Jill considers herself lucky to have dived in North West Australia on coral atolls and experience the majestic Kimberley Coast on a boat during the humpback whale migration.