Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Another hawksbill turtle killed by ocean-borne plastic waste in Thailand

Jul 01. 2019
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By Pratch Rujivanarom
The Nation

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A hawksbill sea turtle found washed ashore at Pattaya’s Na Jomtien Beach appears to be the newest victim of the severe marine debris problem in Thailand.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Sea Turtle Conservation Centre found the rotten carcass on Chon Buri’s Na Jomtien Beach on Sunday, and an autopsy revealed that the turtle’s stomach was full of plastic trash and bits of fishing net. 

Kornkamol Kitimala, a veterinarian at the conservation centre, said that even though the carcass was badly decayed, it can definitely be concluded that the debris found in the turtle’s stomach was the cause of its death. The veterinarian added that the turtle was around a year old, though no microchip was found. 

Leading marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat said the situation was tragic as at least three sea turtles were found dead from debris in the Gulf of Thailand over this past weekend. He said many turtles were also dying from being trapped in fishing nets or being hit by boats. Hence, he said, the authorities must urgently address the serious marine debris problem and better regulate marine transportation and fishing. 

“It will not be easy to do all these things at the same time, but we must take action now or we will lose these precious animals forever,” he said.

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