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Plastic Pollution Is Causing Deaths In 40% Of Baby Sea Turtles: Research

As reported in the research, about 40% of young sea turtles are killed due to plastic. Baby turtles are 4 times more possibly to be killed by swallowing plastic waste compared to adults. These animals do have weaker bodies and feed on offshore waters closer to the surface. The offshore is more likely to be polluted with a large number of plastic stuff that can accumulate in turtle’s digestive tracts.

An autopsy on almost 1,000 dead turtles has shown that more than half of the baby turtles had ingested plastic. However, nearly a quarter of juvenile had swallowed plastic, one in seven adults. The research was conducted including species green turtles, loggerheads, hawksbills, leatherbacks, flatbacks, and Kemp’s ridleys (Olive ridleys). Scientists have discovered between 1–329 individual plastic pieces swallowed by the turtles. The research was conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Hobart, Tasmania.

Speaking of plastic pollution, recently scientists found two more possible garbage patch zones in the world’s oceans. An effort to locate million tons of “lost” plastic in the world’s oceans has identified 2 locations that might contain large and unreported patches of debris. The Gulf of Guinea and the East Siberian Sea might be carrying large quantities of plastic that is invisible from the water surface. Approximately, 70% of plastic waste gets sink and remains in the sea. Alethea Mountford—PhD student at Newcastle University who carried the research—said that there is an immediate need to find the plastic in the ocean because if the plastics reach the water column, the highest effect would be on marine organisms via swallowing and entanglement. Plastics that reach the seafloor can be swallowed by bottom-dwelling organisms and might have other complications with the seafloor environment via inhibition of gas exchange activating lack of oxygen within the sediments.

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