Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Locals visiting Crab Island

This morning the waters were calm, making it easy for a few boats to cruise on down to Crab Island from the island and mainland communities. As we came around the corner up north, while doing our track count, we saw a boat land. We went around to say “hello” to three friendly Islanders from Seisia. They had come out to Crab Island to collect sea turtle eggs. They probe the sand with spears around freshly laid nests to find the eggs. They said they were going to harvest enough to fill a plastic trash can they brought along. In addition, on the boat ride they were searching for Green Sea Turtles in the waters to hunt (they taste the best, we have been told). Green turtles are currently congregating in the Torres Strait to mate, before heading to their nesting beaches to lay. We were informed that one adult turtle would feed about 4 families of 6 and during this time they catch around one each week.

Also, there were a few other boats on the adjacent mainland that came from Thursday Island and we are expecting them to come across to Crab later today. In the time we have been on the island we have seen and met a number of groups of Aboriginals and Islanders who have arrived in search of freshly laid turtle eggs, and the odd adult, along with some others offshore that hunt from the bows of their boats with spears and by jumping. I don’t think I would be able to jump off a boat into the water to catch a turtle knowing there are plenty of crocs and sharks about. All in all they have been friendly towards us and we hope to keep good relations with them.

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