Marine Life

Facts about the Milbi (Sea Turtle)

The Great Sandy Marine Park is home to six of the worlds 7 species of Sea Turtle. Our resident turtles are the Loggerhead, Green, Hawksbill and Flatback. Turtles that travel through the region are the Leatherback and the Olive Ridley. 

Turtles have been swimming the worlds oceans for more than 200 million years. Female turtles surf the world oceans before returning to the same beach they were born to have their babies. Turtle hatchlings weigh only 15 - 30 grams. Only 1 in 1000 survive to adulthood, and they can live up to 180 years old!

Sadly, humans are the greatest threat to sea turtles. 

Facts about Buthou (Dolphin)

The most commonly found species of Buthou in the Great Sandy Straits are Inshore Bottlenose, Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin and the Indo-Pacific Dolphin.

Buthou communicate by sounds such as clicking, chirps, whistling and other various noises.  They can find where prey are hidden under the sand and where objects are located by bouncing noise off them, this is called echo location.

Baby Buthou are called calves, females are cows and males are bulls, and just like a whale they breathe throw a blowhole in the top of their head. On a daily basis they consume up to 10% of their body weight in fish.

The biggest threat scientists are concerned for is with ocean levels warming. Their food source are finding deeper, colder waters to live and dolphins might have difficulties adapting as necessary to find new feeding grounds thus not being able to sustain their population

Facts about Mooka Mooka (Humpback Whale)

Every year the Mooka Mooka stops at Hervey Bay. The purpose of the whales stopping in Platypus Bay is to rest in the calm, sheltered waters of the Great Sandy Straits before their migration back to Antarctica. Their migration spans over 25,000 km to mate and give birth to 1 offspring every 2-3 years.

Fully grown females can weigh over 40 tonnes and calves can weigh up to 1 tonne at birth.

They are very active and acrobatic mammals.  They can be seen performing peduncle throws, breaching, spy hops, fluke dives and tails slaps.

In the summer they eat 1.5 tonnes of food per day and in winter they survive off their fat reserve.

The biggest threat posed to whales are entanglement in fishing gear, climate change, ship strikes, toxic contamination, habitat degradation and hunting.

Facts about Urangan (Dugong)

Urangan can be seen feeding on sea grass meadows in the Great Sandy Straits.

These herbivorous mammals can weigh up to 420 kilograms and reach 3 metres in length, eating up to 30kg of sea grass per day.

They are able to hold their breath for an incredible 6 minutes before needing to return to the surface.  They have poor eyesight therefor rely on the bristles on their upper lip to locate sea grass.

The biggest threat posed to Urangan are boat strikes, loss of habitat, entanglement in fishing nets and debris.

Facts about Buallum (Pelican)

Buallum are very commonly sighted in the Great Sandy Straits. 

They can reach a length of 1.6 - 1.9 metres and weigh 4-8 kilograms, males are larger than females.  Their diret consists of fish, sometimes turtles, crustaceans and it has even been recorded that a really hungry Buallum will attack and eat shorebirds.  They have quite a short life, only living to be thirty years old.

They have the largest bill of all bird species and it can grow to be 18 inches in length. Their throat pouch can hold 13 litres of water, before swallowing their prey they move their head forward to release all of the water out of their pouch. 

The biggest threat posed to Buallum is being entangled in fishing line. The line cuts their legs leaving open wounds, and when left untreated this can cause infection and unfortunately most will die.

Play Your Part In Conservation


  • Make sure you don't throw plastic bags and other plastic materials into the ocean. Turtles mistake them for plastic bags, other plastics ruin habitats and animals can get caught in them.
  • Help take care of the beach, be mindful that the only thing you take from the beach is rubbish. Not shells, coral or rocks.
  • Don't purchase items that exploit marine life, such as animals on display in tanks.
  • Don't take wild marine life and put them in your tank at home or take them from your home and put them in the ocean.  This introduces non-native species and can harm already formed eco-systems
  • Don't throw any rubbish over the side of the boat
  • Recycle responsibly - Non-recyclable items include plastic bags, polystyrene foam used in coffee cups and packaging from electronic goods

 Did you know that each year worldwide around 1 million shorebirds and 100,000 marine mammals die from plastics?  THIS IS NOT OK

Join us Hervey Bay Eco Marine Tours to help keep our oceans healthy and safe for all marine life. Onboard the Milbi and in our office there's a water dispenser and we ask that you bring your own drink bottle and your welcome to refill at any time.

Eco friendly drink bottles and coffee flasks are also available for purchase in our office we'll even fill them up for you!