Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh:
About 160 sea turtles, many of whom were injured after becoming entangled in plastic waste, were rescued after being stranded on one of the world‘s longest beaches in Bangladesh, an official and environmentalists said on Wednesday. .
Olive Ridley turtles began to float to shore at Cox’s Bazaar with a huge mass of plastic bottles, fishing nets, buoys and other debris over the weekend.
The survivors were released in the Bay of Bengal, but some returned to the 120-kilometer (75-mile) beach.
About thirty of them died and were buried in the sand.
“This is the first time we have seen a large-scale killing and washing of injured turtles on the beach. It is unprecedented,” said Nazmul Huda, deputy director of the local environment department.
“About 160 turtles were saved alive … but after their release into the sea, some of these turtles returned to the beach. I think they are too weak to stay in the sea.”
Many turtles were injured after being caught in some 50 tonnes of waste floating 10 kilometers along the coast.
“Some turtles had no legs or heads,” said Asaduzzaman Sayem of local conservation group Darianagar Green Boys.
“We saved a 40-kilogram (88-pound) turtle alive. It was tangled in plastic nets and had no legs.”
Shahriar Caesar Rahman, Bangladesh turtle expert on the Creative Conservation Alliance, said the creatures were “highly stressed” and may not survive even after being released from the trash.
“Local volunteers are doing their best to release them into the sea. But given the injuries of these turtles, they are unlikely to survive,” he said.
“The best long-term solution will therefore be to create a rescue and rehabilitation facility for these turtles at Cox’s Bazar.”
The government is investigating the reasons why the turtles came ashore and sent two carcasses to a state university for examination.
But Rahman said he thought the turtles may have been trapped in a huge plastic trash bin floating in the sea.
“In the long term, if we do not manage pollution in the Bay of Bengal, many of these marine species will face the same fate,” he said.
According to environmentalists, olive trees are the most abundant sea turtles in the world.
However, their number has decreased and the species is recognized as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.
(This story has not been edited by GalacticGaming staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)