"Globally, it is estimated that approximately 50% of all sea turtles have indigested plastic-and this happens all over the world."
image by: Daniel Torobekov
Every year, it is believed that over 1000 sea turtles die as a result of becoming entangled in plastic. Despite the pleas from all around the world, it remains a major issue for our eco-warriors.
HOW DOES THIS THING HAPPEN?
According to researchers, more than 8 million tons of plastic wind up in our ocean each year, and these plastics have a significant impact on our sea turtles from the minute they are born. Urban and storm runoff, sewer overflows, beach visitors, inadequate waste disposal and management, industrial operations, construction, and illegal dumping are the main sources of marine plastic.
In short, we are responsible for it.
Globally, it is estimated that approximately 50% of all sea turtles have indigested plastic-and this happens all over the world.
Indigestion can strike a marine turtle at any point in its life cycle, and it appears to be more common in juvenile stages, though. These sea turtles are more likely to suffer malnutrition or suffocate from internal lacerations - which, if worst things happen, might kill them.
These sea turtles are more likely to suffer malnutrition or suffocate from internal lacerations - which, if worst things happen, might kill them.
SO WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
What we do not know is that sea turtles play an important role in ocean ecosystems by maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, providing important habitat for other marine life, assisting in the balance of marine food webs, and facilitating nutrient cycling from water to land, even when their numbers are declining.
Sea turtles keep the balance in our ocean ecosystems, so it is imperative that we care for them. And the first step in adopting an ecosystem strategy is to protect the survival of the ecosystem's core components, which must unquestionably include sea turtles. Treat them equally with any other ocean creature and start restoring their habitat.
Because their success is our mother Earth's success.