Bangladesh: Plastic waste threatens sea turtles in the Gulf of Bengal - Plataforma Media

Bangladesh: Plastic waste threatens sea turtles in the Gulf of Bengal

A “tide of plastic waste”, with bottles, fishing nets and other objects, invaded a beach in Bangladesh, in the Gulf of Bengal, today triggering a race against time to rescue turtles submerged by the sea from garbage.

According to the Bangladesh Forestry Department, the “unprecedented tide” of more than 50 tons of plastic waste stretches over 120 kilometers of beach in the southwest of the country, from the town of Cox’s Bazar.

“This is a unique case of plastic invasion” and is “a major threat to marine biodiversity”, described Moazzem Hossain, manager of a local environmental organization called “Save Nature – Bangladesh”.

Hundreds of volunteers have launched themselves in the last few hours in a race against time to save sea turtles submerged by the plastic tide, reported a Forest Department spokesman, Sohail Hossain.

Volunteers from Plastik Bank Bangladesh found and buried about 20 turtles of a species classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“I have never seen so many turtles killed on the beach and so much plastic waste floating in my life,” said fisherman Jashim Uddin.

Most turtles were at least 30 years old, said Shahriar Caesar Rahman, a local expert at the non-governmental organization Creative Conservation Alliance.

“Turtles are usually trapped in large amounts of garbage that floats in the sea and eventually suffocate to death. That seems to have been the case, ”he said.

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