Recycle to save sealife, dept urges

Recycle to save sealife, dept urges

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) is urging the public to avoid dumping plastic waste into the sea after 11 sea turtle hatchlings died from eating rubbish in Chon Buri last year.

DMCR director-general Athapol Charoenshunsa said the turtle hatchlings were stuck in a large garbage patch measuring 700 metres across and washed ashore on Ban Amphur Beach in tambon Na Chom Thian of Sattahip district on Sept 8 last year.

Officials took the turtles to the Marine Endangered Species Veterinary Hospital in Rayong for treatment. Vets found the turtles were under one month old and had developed fatigue, depression and loss of appetite.

Vets treated the turtles for a month. But they started to die one by one, with the last one perishing in the third month of treatment.

An autopsy showed a dozen pieces of rubbish discovered in their alimentary canal. The turtles were not able to pass the rubbish, were unable to swallow food, and ultimately died.

A vet from DMCR's Sireetarn Marine Endangered Animals Rescue Centre said rubbish is always a major threat to sea turtles, who struggle to swim through garbage patches, and also eat plastic waste, mistaking it for food.

He urged everyone to reduce the use of plastics and raise awareness of environmental protection.

He added the plastic waste crisis could be solved with the cooperation of every sector to separate and recycle garbage, as well as help collect plastic waste flowing into the sea.

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