2 months ago
Photo by Brian Skerry @BrianSkerry
An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in plastic fishing net in the waters off Sri Lanka. I was at sea in this location searching for whales, on assignment for @natgeo when our crew spotted this turtle struggling at the surface. I got into the water, made a few photos, then with the help of our team, freed the turtle.
The turtle was severely entangled, with the plastic ropes wrapped tightly around its flippers and body. Floating debris, such as drifting logs, often attract fish and other small creatures and turtles will investigate hoping for a meal. In this case the debris was a bamboo log that was snagged with net. Despite some wounds on its flippers from the net, this turtle strongly and quickly swam away once it was free. I actually saw several sea turtles entangled in plastic during my time on this assignment and we disentangled each one. But I can’t help wonder about the many others I won’t be there to see or help.
Plastic is a terrible problem in the sea with an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic being added to our oceans each year. In edition to deadly entanglement, it is eaten by countless animals, many of which are consumed by humans.
#plasticpollution #planetorplastic #srilanka #seaturtles