Baby turtles are eating plastic trash at an amazing rate

New research warns that plastic is damaging baby sea turtles.

Basli Marzuki via Getty Images / NurPhoto

Make plastic now 80% of marine debris, And they are not just floating in the ocean.New research published in Frontier of oceanology Baby sea turtles from the Indian Ocean and Pacific have a very high incidence of plastic intake, and if plastic tears, blocks, or punctures the gastrointestinal tract of sea turtles, it can lead to malnutrition, chemical contamination, and death. It became clear that there was.

“Small larval turtles (including post-hatched and marine larvae) are considered to be at greatest risk due to food preferences and overlap with plastic-rich areas,” the study said. Is reporting.

Researchers examined the stomach contents of five sea turtle specimens.

Turtles have evolved to grow in the open ocean, where most predators can be avoided, but those areas are quickly turning into major locations for collecting plastic debris. This is an example of an evolutionary trap, the report states.

“Post-hatched turtles used to be an ideal place for growth, but now they have a large accumulation of plastic debris, which reduces survival and has a non-fatal impact on growth and maturity. It’s possible, “the report said. “This life stage has been’captured’by past evolutionary reactions and has the potential to develop in some of the world’s most polluted regions of the ocean today. “

Sea turtles in the Pacific were found to consume much higher amounts of plastic than sea turtles in the Indian Ocean. Eighty-six percent of loggerhead turtles found in the Pacific consumed plastic, and 80% of flatback and green turtles. And plastic came from many different places.

“Pacific turtle plastics are mostly hard debris and can come from a variety of human-used products, while Indian Ocean plastics are mostly fibers, probably from fishing ropes and nets. It was, “said Emily Duncan, lead author of the study. University of Exeter, Said in a statement..

Duncan said humans must take action to reduce and prevent plastic pollution, and the next phase of research will investigate how eating plastic affects turtle health and survival. It’s a schedule. Baby turtles are eating plastic trash at an amazing rate

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