#endangered – SEA TURTLE

sea turtle with plastic bags

When you see a jellyfish in the sea, you can recognize it right? What a stupid question, obviously you can! Well, sea turtles don’t. Their problem, furthermore, is not the concern of a little burn… they eat jellyfish! So, if they cannot distinguish between a tasty jellyfish and a killer plastic bag.. you can imagine the suffering and damage our behavior can cause!

SEA TURTLE – FACTS

Habitat: Open ocean and coastal habitats, mainly in tropical and sub-tropical areas

Location: Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea

Age: the estimated average lifespan for a sea turtle is 60-80 years

Diet: all species are omnivores, feeding primarily on sea grass and jellyfish

SPECIES:
– Leatherback turtles
– Loggerhead turtles
– Green turtles
– Hawksbill turtles
– Kemp’s ridley turtles
– Olive ridley turtles
– Flatback turtles

MAIN THREATS

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified five major hazards to sea turtles:

Fisheries
Sea turtles virtually everywhere are affected by fisheries, especially longlines, gill nets, and trawls. The most severe of these impacts are death after entanglement, habitat destruction and food web changes.

Hunting and poaching
Sea turtles and their eggs are killed by people throughout the world for food, and for products including oil, leather and shell.

Coastal Development
Sea turtle habitats are degraded and destroyed by coastal development. This includes both shoreline and seafloor alterations, such as nesting beach degradation, seafloor dredging, vessel traffic, construction, and alteration of vegetation.

Pollution
Plastics, discarded fishing gear, petroleum by-products, and other debris harm and kill sea turtles through ingestion and entanglement. Light pollution disrupts nesting behavior and causes hatchling death by leading them away from the sea. Chemical pollutants can weaken sea turtles’ immune systems, making them susceptible to disease.

Climate change
Climate change will increase the frequency of extreme weather events, result in loss of nesting beaches, and cause other alterations to critical sea turtle habitats and basic oceanographic processes. It may impact natural sex ratios of hatchlings and increase the likelihood of disease outbreaks for sea turtles.

turtle stocked in a nest

TAKE ACTION!

You can protect our sea turtles in some ways that are too simple to ignore!

Reduce your waste and clean up trash you see on the beach
Easy right? You just have to reduce especially your plastic waste and, very important, if you see some abandoned trash on the beach don’t just think “such a shame, poor ocean”.. grub it and do the difference by yourself!

Respect nesting areas
There are plenty of nestling tours that can be really dangerous. Sea turtles can get easily scared when they’re starting the nesting process, lights and people can make them return to sea without nesting. Also, be aware of where nesting areas are so that you
can avoid trampling the hatchlings when they head to the water.

Avoid chemicals on your body and in your home
Those chemicals can actually wash into the coastal
waters, killing plants and animals. It’s also important to use natural and biodegradable products, especially when you go directly into our ocean – did you know that your sunscreen can destroy a coral reef?

Volunteer and donate
You can find here some of the best organizations that help sea turtle, but there are a lot. You can also adopt a sea turtle with WWF. Plus, while your traveling, or even in your own city, you can spend some time helping our turtles and live wonderful experience.

IT’S OUR FAULT!

My experience at “OSPEDALE DELLE TARTARUGHE“, in Riccione has been a shocking experience that changed my life.

It hurts to remember.. It is an hospital for injured sea turtles, the volunteers save, cure and release them back in nature.Since 2002 in the Center over 300 sea turtles have been treated and put back into the sea.

When I visited it, 2 volunteers were rescuing a poor turtle from a PLASTIC STRAW stuck in its nose. That was terrible… I couldn’t stand to look at that suffering.. blood everywhere and painfully screaming…

This is really what we are doing? This is really what you want to keep doing? DO YOU REALLY DON’T CARE!?

WWF INFOGRAPHIC

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