Baby Sea Turtle Has 104 Pieces Of Plastic In Stomach
Posted on January 6th 2020
Recently a baby turtle that washed up on the coast of Florida and died soon after had 104 pieces of plastic in its stomach. Experts examined the turtle before it died and found it was both weak and emaciated and was clearly not doing well. Following its death, the experts took a look in the turtle’s stomach and found it to be full of plastic with everything from balloons to bottle labels.
This trend is common
This trend has been seen for a number of years now and it is common for turtles to suffer from malnutrition as a result of plastic consumption. Whilst some turtles do survive, many do not. Experts call these turtles Washbacks because they make it to the ocean and into the gulf stream for a few weeks before eventually washing back ashore.
After the baby turtles first hatch, they initially make their way towards floating seaweed where they live for the first few years of their lives. The problem is that there is so much plastic in the ocean, it too tends to find itself stuck amongst the seaweed. Microplastics gravitates and appears to the baby turtles as food. All that plastic in their stomach makes them feel as if they have a full belly and as a result do not eat or receive the proper nutrition necessary for survival.
Weak and emaciated
By the time experts get to the turtles they are usually too weak and emaciated. They are given fluids for hydration and the hope is the plastic passes naturally. The most important thing they can do hope the plastic passes naturally. Once they are hydrated it is hoped their appetite will return. Experts say the problem will not cease until people stop purchasing plastic and if they do start disposing of them correctly.
Stop plastic use
Plastic use must be reduced by as much as possible. This means not simply recycling but instead getting rid of it in daily use. Each piece of plastic that has ever been made is still out there somewhere. It never every goes away. Instead it just breaks down into smaller pieces instead of decomposing. If we want to ensure that species such as turtles survive for future generations, we must end plastic use.