Sea Turtles As a Symbol
Of Many Cultures
We are seeing an annual increase in the waste in the oceans, most of which are plastics. These plastics directly endanger the lives of animals that call the ocean their home. Sea turtles, who happen to be some of the most beloved and endangered species on the planet, are particularly at risk from this onslaught of ocean debris.
It is estimated that over half of all sea turtles have ingested some form of plastic in their lifetime. When debris, like plastic bags, are in the water where turtles feed, the turtles can easily mistake the trash for food. And for those that do avoid a plastic lunch, they are still at significant risk of becoming entangled in other forms of debris like ghost nets, buoy lines, or other discarded fishing gear, which can lead to injury or even death.
Another extremely worrisome trend is the fact that globally the ratio of female sea turtles being born vs. male sea turtles being born is becoming more and more lopsided to the female side. The sex of a turtle is determined by the nest temperature during incubation and when the nests are on the warmer side during development, the hatchlings will be all female. This could be related to rising temperatures caused by global climate change and is something that should be watched very carefully in the coming years.