A documentary featuring Bowen residents’ fight to save sea turtles from a mysterious disease has been nominated for an award.
A documentary featuring Bowen residents’ fight to save sea turtles from a mysterious disease has been nominated for an award. Contributed

Vote to save Bowen turtles

A DOCUMENTARY highlighting the plight of Bowen turtles has been announced as a finalist in the Aurora Short Film Festival 2013 awards.

The documentary, filmed by WWF Australia, is called Sending the Gungu Home, and is about the Bowen community's fight to save marine turtles in the region.

Traditional owners and local community groups feature in the film.

Viewer votes will determine the winner of the award, and people are being encouraged to nominate the film by logging on at http://www.aurora.tv/asff/vote.

The documentary focuses on work being done to overcome the fibropapilloma virus, which causes lesions and tumours in turtles.

"We hope to encourage locals to get online and vote for this documentary so it can win the highly competitive viewer's choice award under the community organisation category," a WWF-Australia spokeswoman said.

"Sadly, little is known about marine turtles, which is why researchers and local groups are racing against time to find out more about what is going on."

The nomination of the film comes as World Turtle Day is to be held on May 23.

During filming of the documentary last August, the Daily Mercury spoke with indigenous man Eddy Smallwood about the importance of the sea turtle in his culture.

"The turtle is still used as a food resource," Mr Smallwood said.

"We only utilise it when there are funerals, weddings, cultural events and days like Mabo Day.

"But it's up to everyone to help protect these turtles, non-indigenous too."


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