There is new evidence of how contaminated the seas and oceans are with plastic and how endangered animals are because of this. Off the coast Argentine coasts a green turtle was caught near Buenos Aires, caught in the nets of a fisherman. Taken to a center specialized in the recovery of aquatic animals, the turtle has been defecating plastic for weeks, confirming how bad his health was due to the presence of foreign bodies in the sea and in his body.
The news comes from San Clemente del Tuyu, near Buenos Aires, Argentina, where a turtle Chelonia mydas she was rescued from a fisherman’s nets.
Admitted to a veterinary center specialized in aquatic animals of the local foundation Mundo Marino, the turtle has undergone all the checks necessary to get a picture of its health.
Green turtles have been declared endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The turtle in question from the day of his hospitalization, which took place on 29 December 2019, has expelled a significant amount of plastic material through the feces: according to the veterinarians who followed it, well 13 grams of plastic equivalent to the waste of 26 plastic objects. In particular, the waste is attributable to shopping bags, glasses, caps, credit cards and disposable straws.
The turtle was given a drug that increases bowel movements, in order to facilitate the expulsion of the material into the body
“There is not only the choking hazard following the ingestion of plastic. The accumulation of non-nutritive elements in the digestive systems of these reptiles causes them a sense of false satiety which leads them to gradually weaken, “explained Karina Alvarez, biologist at the Mundo Marino foundation. Furthermore, the ingestion of large quantities of plastic produces a amount of gas which affects the turtles’ ability to dive, preventing them from eating or migrating to warmer waters.
Turtles also ingest plastic dispersed in the sea very easily, because they confuse it with animals they feed on usually, such as jellyfish and algae.
The case of the San Clemente del Tuyu turtle is not the only one: in the same area two turtles have been found, one of which is lifeless, with a stomach full of plastic.