Sea turtles have roamed the ocean for over million years, but now, their reign is rapidly ending because of plastic pollution in the ocean. The ocean is quickly becoming plastic soup. Researchers have estimated that more than 8 million tons of plastic end up in our ocean, annually. If you have problems grasping the sheer size of that figure, try and imagine a truckload of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute! Plastic pollution affects sea turtles throughout their lifecycle. From the moment they are born, they face the risk of injury — or worst: death - because they ingest or get entangled in plastic. Researchers estimate that over half of all sea turtles in the world have ingested plastic. You might be wondering why sea turtles and plastic pollution is something you should care about.
Possible Solutions to save the Turtles
Poachers come in the cover of night to rob her eggs. Sometimes they come for her meat, killing all turtles on a beach; sometimes they take them alive on cruel journeys to be sold on the black market. The nesting process takes hours. A sea turtle must dig a hole 2 to 5 feet deep to deposit her eggs. Afterwards, she must carefully fill and camouflage the hole — her last attempt to protect the offspring she must leave behind. Sea Turtle Patrollers make the difference. Patrolling is a direct protection, boots-on-the-ground job. Countless sea turtles and habitats exist today that would not without community-based patrollers. They walk the beach through the night, often in tropical downpours. When they find a nesting turtle, they sit with her, protecting her until she returns to the ocean and safeguarding her eggs thereafter.
More On This Topic
Turtles are a group of reptiles with a cartilaginous shell originating from their ribs, which shelters them from predators. Based on the temperature in the surrounding atmosphere, the temperature in their body fluctuates and therefore they are called ectotherms or cold-blooded. They are one of the most ancient groups of reptiles and like many other amniotes, they lay their eggs in the land even though some species are inhabitants of aquatic bodies. Other human activities related to agriculture and aquaculture , fishing in particular trawling without Turtle Excluder Devices and use of FADs with entangling nets , urbanization, contribute significantly in this regard. Likewise, man-made pollution created by mismanagement of waste products in domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors are noteworthy. Moreover, fire control, dam, and water management are some natural systems modifying factors that are responsible for a reduction in the number of turtles. Last but not least, some species are threatened due to invasive non-native species , problematic native species or pathogenic diseases such as fibropaillomatosis which generates a giant cauliflower-like tumor in sea turtles. The latest IUCN data shows that there are species of turtles around the globe. Most of these species live in the terrestrial environment amounting to It is followed by freshwater and both system inhabitants accounting for
Six of seven species of sea turtles around the world are endangered or threatened but there are many ways that anyone can help! Here are a few ways you can support conservation of wild sea turtles around the world:. The tortoiseshell trade is the biggest threat to hawksbills. Reduce your carbon footprint!