Last January 9 on the beach Cammaranain the province Ragusaturtle Caretta caretta she was unfortunately found dead entangled between the net rope and the plastic. The causes of death are unknown, but they are probably caused byplastic pollution, of which it is possible to think that she was a victim. The news was announced by the association Oipa of Ragusa which intervened following the report of a citizen who noticed a young specimen dying but still alive. Unfortunately, a short time later, when the volunteers arrived, the sea turtle was already dead.
“At the time of the report, the animal, we were told, was dying. Unfortunately, even though we arrived quickly at the site, the animal stopped living… We thank the immediate support of marine biology WWF Sicily Mediterranean area ODV Oleana Prato, who is the source together with the volunteers, our friend Titta from Vittoria – stated from Oipa from Ragusa – Causes of death we do not know the young specimen, but the scenario of the beach due to strong sea storms forces us to do so reflection on the health of our plastic-infested seas unfortunately it all ends in the sea…”.
As reported by the IUCN, the turtle Caretta caretta it is considered an endangered species in Italy, although populations and breeding have increased in recent years. It is listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and designated as specially protected species. The World Conservation Union considers the breeding sites on the Pelagic Islands to be sufficiently protected, however, it is necessary to reduce the threat near the nesting sites in Ionian Calabria.
A recent study conducted by the University of Bologna in collaboration with the Interinstitutional Center for Marine Biodiversity Research in Fano analyzed consequences of pollution on the life of wild turtles. Microplastics and plastic debris in general have been found to be dangerous factors for their physiology and health in general. In fact, plastic accumulates in the final part of the intestine, and according to what the researchers observed, almost all observed samples (45 individuals between 2017 and 2019) contain traces of plastic materials, which can also act as vectors for pathogenic bacteria, among other things. It is for this reason that the species is considered a useful indicator of the general level of pollution in marine ecosystems.
Major risk factors in the marine environment for sea turtles, exceptpollution incidental catches in fishing activities and collisions with ships are then represented. Especially in the Mediterranean as stated on the website Caretta Calabria Conservationare estimated annually 132,000 bycatch per year. Unfortunately still a very widespread threat, as we have shown you by telling the story (thankfully with a happy ending) of a turtle renamed Osimhen rescued Turtle Point zoological station in Naples.
With the arrival of warmer seasons the turtle Caretta caretta they are increasingly heading towards the mainland, where they nest every summer in burrows dug in the sand. It is right to think about the impact of our daily actions and our consumption of plastic that causes itsea pollution and threatens the survival of the most protected species.
The sad episode of the death of the Ragusa turtle should make us commit ourselves ever more effectively to the protection of our seas and the living creatures that inhabit them. This is the time when we should make sure that our beaches are ready to welcome numerous baby turtles in a few months. For this, it is important to work now to protect these animals from potential threats caused by humans, especially marine pollution.