From: University of Exeter
Published December 12, 2017 12:57 PM

Marine Turtles Dying After Becoming Entangled in Plastic Rubbish

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches,  including plastic ‘six pack’ holders and discarded fishing gear.  

The rise in plastic refuse in the ocean and on beaches is killing turtles of all species, with a disproportionate impact on hatchlings and young turtles, research by the University of Exeter shows. 

A world-wide survey covering the major oceans where turtles live discovered that 91 per cent of the entangled turtles were found dead. They also suffered serious wounds from entanglement, leading to maiming, amputation or choking. Others that survived were forced to drag discarded rubbish or debris with them.  

The survey found turtles are being tangled up in lost fishing nets,  plastic twine and nylon fishing line, as well as six pack rings from canned drinks, plastic packaging straps, plastic balloon string, kite string, plastic packaging and discarded anchor line and seismic cable.  Turtles were also discovered entangled in discarded plastic chairs, wooden crates, weather balloons and boat mooring line.

Read more at University of Exeter

Image: This is a live leatherback turtle entangled in fishing ropes which increases drag, Grenada 2014. (Credit: Kate Charles, Ocean Spirits)

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