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Don't Touch! 4 reasons to keep your hands away from those sea creatures


In Bowen we're very fortunate to have easy access to a wonderful range of sea life, from hard and soft corals and an abundance of fish when you snorkel our reef right from the beach – to sea cucumbers, giant red star fish and feather stars when you walk to our lighthouse.

As tempting as it may be to pick up a sea cucumber to squirt your brother, or gently move a starfish back into the shallows, there are 4 reasons why it's really important to never touch our sea creatures.

1. Your touch may be deadly!

Sunscreens, moisturisers and the natural oils found in human skin will cause lasting damage to most corals, echinoderms (sea cucumbers), starfish and shell fish. While it may not be immediately obvious, the disturbance to the creature's mucus coating or anatomy can lead to bacterial infection, the spread of disease and ultimately the reduction of that species within the area.

2. We think we might be gentle...

But our feather-light touch can cause irreparable damage to our delicate sea creatures. As you may know starfish eject their stomachs to digest their prey – handling a giant red starfish off Bowen may spoil his chances at another meal... forever! Sea cucumbers often expel their intestines when squeezed, shortening their life dramatically. So put your fingers to work snapping photos and sharing them with friends instead.

3. A trip to hospital may be required!

Nobody wants to ruin a holiday, weekend or even balmy afternoon with a trip up the Bowen Hospital Hill... but touch some of our friendly locals and you might find yourself calling triple 0. Best motto is – don't touch!

4. We want these experiences to last forever

As you've seen its really not cool to touch the sea creatures, as cute and amazing as they may be. Perhaps the most important reason of all, however, is looking after our sea life for our future generations. The damage that happens today, prevents tomorrow's visitor from experiencing the natural wonders we're so lucky to have on our doorstep in Bowen.

We hope you enjoy your time experiencing Bowen's unique ways to see the reef and sea grass flats, rocky outcrops and rich history! We would appreciate it if you can share our message with your fellow travellers, friends and family to help us preserve our sea creatures into the future.


Whales in the Whitsundays
Walking to Bowen's Lighthouse


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