From: Reuters
Published January 17, 2008 02:46 AM

Bangladesh finds dead turtles on beach

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Bangladesh found at lest 40 dead turtles, some weighing 40 kg pounds) or more, on the beach of the Bay of Bengal over the past week, officials said on Thursday.

At least 10 of them were found dead on Thursday.

"I have seen more than a dozen carcasses of turtles, some of them were Olive Reedley, scattered on the vast beach, during my resent tour," a senior ecological official told Reuters in Cox's Bazar, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka.

The turtles die mostly in winter and last year officials and fishermen reported the death of more than 200 turtles along the Cox's Bazar sea beach.

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No one seems to know why the sea creatures are dying.

Marine officials believed the turtles died after being caught in fishing nets. But fishermen said they avoided such big turtles, as they often tear their fishing nets and other gears.

Environment experts said the deaths could be caused by increased pollution in the bay, from waste disposal of ships or perhaps other unknown natural causes.

Bangladesh has a 120-km (75 miles) natural beach from Cox's Bazar to Teknaf, which is poorly maintained and monitored.

(Reporting by Mohammad Nurul Islam, writing by Nizam Ahmed)

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