A viral video shows a Hawkbill, an endangered sea turtle species found in the tropical waters of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, nearly being strangled with a plastic band around its neck.
- Last Updated: September 24, 2020, 2:41 PM IST
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Plastic pollution is a nuisance for the environment and a reason why the survival of multiple species across the world are at risk. Whether it’s microplastic pollution found in the soil of Antarctica or nano plastic deposition on plants, plastic pollution has become the biggest fight for environmentalists around the world.
In another recent example of the harm caused by the growing pollution, a viral video shows a Hawkbill, an endangered sea turtle species, found in the tropical waters of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, being strangled by a plastic band stuck around its neck.
The video tweeted out by IFS officer Parveen Kaswan shows two rescuers trying to release the turtle from the green band, that appears to be the round, plastic strip found at a bottle’s neck.
He said, “This is how our plastic waste is killing wildlife. Here endangered Hawks Bill slowly strangling due to our waste. One such example !! #beatplasticpollution.”
Like many sea turtles, Hawbills are a critically endangered species, which is protected under the international agreements like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that millions of hawksbills have been killed within the last hundred years for the tortoiseshell trade. Though the legal international hawksbill shell trade ended in 1993, trade continues, as per National Geographic.
They are also consumed for their eggs, flesh and majority of times being caught in the fishing net.
However, plastic pollution is not only a threat to turtles but goes on to risking the habitat of plenty of other land and water species.
Mr Kaswan in a subsequent tweet also highlighted how the same ‘plastic trash kills half a million hermit crabs on remote islands each year’.
He said, “This is just one example. Every day thousands of wildlife is getting strangled due to our plastic and other types of wastes…”
Video is sent by a friend. Location unknown. This is just one example. Every day thousands of wildlife is getting strangled due to our plastic and other types of wastes. Read this article on how even remotest of corner on planet is effected. https://t.co/K7qq6g3QIp
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 24, 2020
Research teams from the University of Tasmania estimated that about 508,000 of the crustaceans have been killed in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean and about 61,000 on Henderson Island in the Pacific after getting stuck in debris such as plastic bottles, which they said served as deadly traps.
Hermit crabs do not have shells of their own and use empty shells or hollow objects as protection and trapped in plastic debris, over half a million of them have been killed.
In another report, scientists have found bits of polystyrene in the guts of tiny, soil-dwelling organisms in the Antarctic, raising concern that microplastics pollution has already “deeply” entered the world’s most remote land-based food systems.
Many governments from across countries have also come forward to ban plastic and pledge towards reducing plastic waste. However, we need to do more to save animals and plants from getting extinct so rapidly.