How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

Zero Waste Shop by EcoPanda

Pollution is an alarming issue that is the leading cause of harming the environment. Whether the world is dealing with any kind of pollution, severe effects are impacting the entire ecosystem and species over the planet.

Dumping of non-degradable plastic waste and chemicals openly is promoting the risk of many health hazards. Unlike pollution on landfills, ocean pollution is also a considerable aspect to think over, to the safe marine world.

The deadly effects of trash harm not only fishes but also the other aquatic species like turtles, tortoise, water birds. It even harms the coral reefs and aquatic plants, with toxic substances as released during plastic breakdown as microplastic.

Generally, 80 percent of marine pollution is caused due to landfills dumping of plastic sewage treated water, and chemicals. Moreover, 20% comes from the sources of ships, cruises, oil leakage, etc., developing dangers for the aquatic world.

Why Do Sea Turtles Eat Up The Plastic?

How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

Eating of this man-made non-biodegradable waste by fishes and turtles is really harmful to them. This is not an ingesting food that easily breakdowns into the stomach, providing them health.

Consumption plastics lead to blockages into the stomach, intestines and making their internal body injured and bleed. Eating plastic is threatening to marine species as the risk of choking, suffocation, and blockage can cause death or severe injuries.

The Dreadful Scenario Of Decreased Sea Turtles

How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

The increase of plastic dumping into the oceans has an adverse impact that causes more injuries and death to marine wildlife. In the past recent years, the global count on sea turtles is also affected, leading to life-threatening health issues in them.

A study done by the Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organization says that a turtle upholds 22% of chance from dying of just a single piece of plastic. Thus, if a turtle had at least 14 plastic items in its stomach, there is only a 50% chance of its dying. Ingestion of plastic clogged the entire gut and threatened life.

How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

Plastic Debris Into The Oceans

Ingesting tiny plastic particles can cause suffocation, intestinal blockage, and stomach bleeding to fishes and sea turtles. These impacts lead to malnutrition and even death of aquatic species. In fact, the tangling of sea turtles in ghost nets is also harmful to their lives.

The commonly found plastic waste into the ocean is a nylon fishing line, plastic bags, cans, water bottles, balloons, plastic cables, etc. Apart from ingesting issues, plastic trash also affects nesting and embryo development as well.

Oil Pollution In Oceans

Apart from plastic trash, other toxic substances are also harmful to aquatics animals and plants life. Accidental leakage of oils, chemicals, heavy metals, impact the marine ecosystem. These cause issues in the liver, intestines, kidneys, and more. Even the problems of fertilization and laying of eggs also get affected.

Sewage Water Run-Off Into The Oceans

Direct run-off of sewage water, with a lot of contaminations, toxic substances into the ocean water, lowers the quality of water. Moreover, such harmful substances into the marine water affect the life of water animals and plants as well.

Release Of Industrial And Agricultural Waste

The use of chemicals in industries, and fertilizers, and pesticides, promote pollution on landfills, air, and water. The untreated waste released directly into the water causes water pollution to a great extent and harms the life of both flora and fauna.

Marine species like fishes, tortoise and sea turtle get harmed due to direct or indirect exposure of such toxic wastes. The pollutants generated from such harmful chemicals and substances, cause immunosuppression, damage endocrine, respiratory inflammation, ulcers, in them.

Even the cause of organ damage and reproductive failures is occurring among marine species. The blockage of sun rays and oxygen into water kills coral reefs, sea plants adversely. The offshore contamination also threatens the life cycle of water birds.

Fibropapillomas Disease In Sea Turtles

Apart from many intestinal infections and life-threatening health issues, one is Fibropapillomas. This is also known as “FP” in turtles worldwide. This basically is a cauliflower-shaped tumor on the soft outer skin and even internal organs of the turtles. Although the specific cause behind such tumors on sea turtles is mysteries. But some researchers claim that it is due to marine pollution and intoxication of ocean water.

Such tumors around eyes cause blindness in species, and near mouth lead to impair breathing and feeding. Many sea turtles found dead near offshore also found with FP. During the 1930s, the first FP was found in the Florida Keys on the green turtle. However, nowadays, fibropapillomas are quite a common health issue that is spreading in other marine species.

How To Minimize The Plastic Pollution By Taking Action In Everyday Lives?

How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

The current use of plastic is daily lives, impacted the entire ecosystem, from land to water. This critical problem today is life-threatening to species. By taking important actions related to minimizing the use of plastic will somewhat enable earth a better place to live. The steps include to stop and reduce plastic pollution are:

Say No To Plastic Shopping Bags

Instead of using plastic shopping bags, carry your own fabric or cloth bag while shopping grocery, etc. Paper bags, jute bags are also a reliable option to buy things in the market. These are biodegradable and reusable.

Use Of Reusable Containers Instead Of Single-Use Plastic Storage Boxes

Moreover, 95 percent of the plastic dump in the trash is single utility ones. To avoid the pollution on earth, avoid using such non-degradable single-use plastic items like boxes and containers. Instead of plastic water bottles, coffee cups, food pacings, and containers, buy reusable containers, and other utility items.

Say No To Plastic Utensils And Cutlery

If planning to eat out, always hold your own reusable cutlery things. Grabbing a takeaway meal mostly packed with plastic spoons, forks, etc. This is also a cause of single-use plastic pollution. Carry your own cutlery or say no such plastic food cutlery things. Instead of that, use wooden or metal cutlery.

Do Not Trash You Used Plastic Openly

If you are using single-use plastic food packings, bags, water bottles, etc., trash them into the dustbin. If still, you see any plastic debris in open spaces like roads, parks, beaches, etc., pick and bin into the dustbin. Your little efforts will crucially help the entire environment to be clean and healthy.

Final Verdict

How Does Pollution Affect Sea Turtles?

Saving the planet from plastic use is indeed challenging, but ideal management of untreated waste is a good step. The use of degradable or non-degradable plastic in daily life adversely affects the environment, so minimizing the usage is quite crucial. 

Plastics in oceans are negatively affecting the lifecycle of marine species, making them unhealthy and promoting the risk of death too. The time has come when we have to take possible initiatives in favor of the environment. Thus, making the earth a happy and healthy place to live.

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