CHS Blog

Feb 15

Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation (CTRC)

Posted on February 15, 2015 by


The Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, Paul Barnes and Jennie Gilbert established the Turtle rehabilitation centre in 2000 as a non-profit, volunteer run organisation to help save the turtles.

CTRC work closely with a number of groups, which includes the environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA National Park Rangers, who are responsible for bringing the turtles to the rehabilitation centre.Floaters syndrome is the most common problem in Sea Turtles, this is an obstruction in the turtles guts causing air to become trapped between the shell and the body, impacting their ability to dive down to the sea bed to eat.

With less than one in a thousand turtle hatchlings surviving to breeding age, the rehab centre can make a difference by caring for and releasing adolescent and adult marine turtles.


There has been an 800% increase in turtle stranding’s on far northern coastlines since Cyclone Yasi hit in January 2011, so as you can imagine the rehabilitation centre needs as much help as they can get, there are around  50-60 Volunteers working at the centre.

CTRC relies on the generous donations from supporters and volunteers, without whom, would be unable to continue this important work. The cost of feeding these beautiful creatures is not cheap; they only are able to eat peeled shrimp, prawns, and sea grass

The most common species of turtles we see at the rehab centre are the Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle, these turtles stay in the centre anywhere between six to twenty-four months until they are healthy enough to be released with a satellite tracker attached to their shell to monitor their movements.

The daily procedures for caring for the turtles are huge, after feeding them numerous times a day, there is the cleaning of the tanks twice a day, ensuring pristine water quality and hosing filter bags for clean filtered air flow.

The average cost per turtle when they first arrive into the rehabilitation centre is around $40.00-$50.00 per day, depending on their condition. The average cost per week for food, for each individual turtle once settled is $150.00.

The success rate has gone from 30% to 85% over the past 10 years and is now one of the highest success rates in Australia thanks to everyone’s support and donations.

Fitzroy Island is not only a fantastic place to spend the day snorkelling and exploring, there are sea kayaking tours available, ocean trampoline fun, stand up paddle boards and beautiful walks around the island. Take the opportunity to visit the Rehabilitation Centre and donate to this wonderful cause, they do group tours of 15 people, and only a couple a day so you do have to book in advance. The tour costs under $10.


It is extremely worthwhile going and seeing what a difference these people have made and how much time and effort goes into making sure these turtles live the fullest life possible, they are a magical creature and we want them around for years to come so let’s ensure we help in whatever way we can!

Go to: To donate today!

For Fitzroy Island accommodation click here

For other wonderful tours in our very special region

Call us on 1300 780 806 or email enquiry to

 Author – Danica – A Cairns Holiday Specialists Tour Specialist

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

View Offer
  • Recent Comments
  • No comments
  • Archives