20 Turtles Dead, Dozens Trapped In Plastic Waste On World’s Longest Beach

Dozens of turtles were found entangled in plastic waste ashore world’s longest natural beach in Bangladesh. The turtles were spotted being trapped in heaps of plastic waste on the beach including nets, plastic bottles, buoys onto the 120-kilometre long beach.AFPThey were found by beach-cleanup charity Plastic Bank Bangladesh. The volunteers found at least 20 Olive Ridley turtles trapped in around 50 tonnes of waste spread in a 10 kilometre stretch on the beach at Cox’s Bazaar. Bangladesh Forestry spokesperson said in a statement, “Hundreds of locals rushed to the beach since early morning to rescue the wounded turtles. We have buried the dead ones and are trying to release the rescued turtles back to sea.”Turtle deaths due to plastic wasteBangladesh turtle and tortoise expert Shahriar Caesar Rahman of the NGO Creative Conservation Alliance told AFP that most of the turtles that were found on the beach were around 30 years old.He said, “The turtles often get trapped in gigantic waste patches floating in the sea and eventually die of suffocation. This seems to be a similar case.”AFPMoazzem Hossain of NGO Save The Nature Bangladesh states that around 26 tonnes of waste is produced from ships and other water transport travelling in the Bay of Bengal. He said in a statement to Dhaka Tribune, “I have visited the site after hearing the news. We do not know how the waste ended up on the beach, but this garbage might cause an environmental disaster and harm marine life and their ecosystem if not removed quickly.”In a conversation with AFP, he exclaimed, “This is a unique case of plastic invasion. It sends a great danger signal to our marine biodiversity.”Representational Image: ReutersOlive Ridley turtles are one of the most common sea turtles that are commonly found around the globe. However, recent human activity has resulted in a major decline in their numbers — so much so that they’re now considered as vulnerable by the ICUN Red list. 
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