A dead turtle has washed up on the beach at Pialba near Beach Rd.
A dead turtle has washed up on the beach at Pialba near Beach Rd. Alistair Brightman

Turtle washes up on beach after Superboat Championships

A DEAD turtle has washed up on a Hervey Bay beach the day after the Superboat Championships were held off the foreshore.

The turtle had no obvious signs of having been the victim of a boat strike, but Queensland Wildlife Fraser Coast branch president Audrey Sorensen said it may not be a coincidence that the event was held on Sunday and the turtle had been found dead near the Pialba sewage treatment plant on Monday.

"We're not surprised one has washed up," she said.

Ms Sorensen said she knew the event brought tourists and gave the Fraser Coast economy a boost, but she feared it came at a cost to wildlife.

But race director Russell Embleton said a comprehensive survey of the course had taken place before racing started.

A turtle had been spotted and had remained near the course for 20 minutes before leaving the area.

Once the course was clear, the race was able to go ahead, Mr Embleton said.

"The system does work," he said.

Mr Embleton said as there was no sign of a boat strike, the turtle could easily have died from other causes.

He said it was hoped the event would return to Hervey Bay next year.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection was contacted about the turtle and a spokesman said it was likely the turtle died of floater syndrome, which prevented the animals from diving and feeding adequately.

"Due to the time passed and the deteriorated condition of the animal, a necropsy will not be undertaken on this occasion," he said.