WIRES grant provides life-changing support for marine conservation

WIRES grant provides life-changing support for marine conservation

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

World Ocean Day is a great time to shine a light on the amazing work of Australia’s marine conservation organisations, many of which work night and day to protect our deeply vulnerable marine life.

One particularly hard-working group is The Sea World Foundation. They were a recipient of WIRES National Grants Program in 2023, receiving vital funding to support their rescue and rehabilitation efforts for sea turtles.

What was their need?

The Sea World Foundation sought WIRES help following an alarming influx of large sea turtles coming into their facility after the 2021/22 Brisbane flood disaster.

The WIRES Grant provided funding for specialised rescue gear so the team were equipped to respond to the high number of sea turtles needing urgent aid, and additional equipment to manage their rehabilitation and care.

The funding helped the Foundation to keep up their essential work during a sustained period of high demand.

"Sea World Foundation is Australia’s largest marine wildlife organisation. Following the Brisbane Flood Event of 2021-22, we saw a 250 per cent increase in sea turtle admissions. Historically the turtles coming into our care were smaller animals up to 50 kilograms in weight. Since this event, large animals weighing over 100 kilograms have become our most frequent patients. Thanks to the WIRES National Grant Program 2023, we’ve been able to equip our team with specialised gear for rescuing and rehabilitating large sea turtles." Sea World Foundation

WIRES grant provides life-changing support for marine conservation

The Story of Niel

One of the many sea turtles to benefit from this urgent assistance was Niel, a remarkable 104kg male who found himself in the care of the marine facility.

Niel was found suffering from float syndrome and a severe blockage in his gut - conditions which would have been fatal without intervention. Thanks to the specialized equipment funded by the WIRES National Grant Program, Niel received the critical care he urgently needed. His story is a testament to the impact of the Foundation’s work and the vital role that funding plays in wildlife conservation.

WIRES grant provides life-changing support for marine conservation

World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about the importance of our oceans and the vital need to protect marine biodiversity. The work of the Sea World Foundation and their dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating sea turtles not only aids individual marine animals like Niel, but provides a vital contribution to the broader health of marine ecosystems.

As we celebrate World Ocean Day, WIRES would like to extend a very big thank you to marine conservation groups including Sea World Foundation. Their efforts provide a lifesaving impact for vulnerable marine species like sea turtles, giving them the safeguards they need to survive, despite the immense and growing challenges posed by natural disasters and human activities.

A Call to Action

Let’s take action to protect our oceans. Whether it’s through directly supporting marine conservation, reducing our plastic use, or advocating for policies that protect marine habitats, every effort counts.

The story of Niel and the dedicated team at the Sea World Foundation is a reminder that whilst challenges abound, so too, do solutions. With continued support and awareness, we can ensure a future where our oceans and their inhabitants are safe, healthy, and thriving!

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