Debris Thrown In Ocean Harming Sea Turtles

August 17, 2015

[Written by Don Burgess]

Residents are being urged not to throw debris into the ocean after another sea turtle was found dead recently.

Two swimmers near the channel off of Dockyard recently found a turtle floating dead in the water. The animal had become entangled in fishing line and strangled to death.

At the end of June, four boys—Kaiser Dill, Dajae Doars, Sylas Young and Cory Basden found a dead sea turtle that drowned after getting stuck in a lawn chair.

The boys found the turtle was found off of Harbour Road and alerted The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. Curator Patrick Talbot responded to their call and had to use a hacksaw to cut the sea turtle loose from the chair.

dead sea turtle june 25 2015 2

On average, the BAMZ gets 40 turtles a year who are either injured or dead.

Man is responsible for up to 33% of those turtles in any given year.

Bermuda Turtle Project coordinator Jennifer Gray said: “People need to appreciate the ocean is or back yard and it is home to sea turtles. We tend not to trash our own homes and backyards, why do it to the ocean? If you’re going out in a boat, take a trash bag with you and make sure you bring your trash home.”

She added it is very important for people fishing off of Bermuda’s shores not to leave broken line in the water, which can ensnare not only sea life, but birds as well.

dead sea turtle june 25 2015 1

“We see herons and sea birds who get their legs tangled up in it and they die right there, strapped to the rocks.”

Ms. Gray said if anyone does find a dead turtle they should let the Aquarium know.

“There’s still a lot to be learned, even if they’re dead,” she said. “If people come across a dead turtle, even if it’s just a skeleton, they really should try to get it to the Aquarium or call the Aquarium to come pick it up.”

Mr. Talbot gave praise to the four boys who found the turtle and were alert enough to call the Aquarium.

Turtle August 16 2015

He also called on people not to just toss their fishing line into the ocean.

“With monofilament fishing lines, people need to be cognizant when that stuff is in the water, you can’t see it and it becomes a trap for many animals, not just turtles — people shouldn’t throw trash into the ocean and should clean up after themselves.”

He said items like lawn chairs are more challenging but stressed the need for people to secure outdoor items during stormy weather.

Mr. Talbot said it is the second time he is aware that a sea turtle had become trapped in a lawn chair in Bermuda waters and drowned.

“This is very tragic. The lawn chair was too heavy for it to get to the surface on his own. It is sad that this turtle probably drowned just a few feet from the surface.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (14)

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  1. Justin says:

    This is really sad to read. Something needs to be done about this to hold people accountable. First of all we need to enforce our existing laws better and fine people for fishing in illegal spots such as bridges. Then we shouldn’t allow anyone to fish without a fishing license. Yes, I think that time has come because people seem to have no regard for our land or sea life.

    • And corrupt political leaders are destroying people worldwide.

    • john galt says:

      you sound like a good little state worshipper. and like one who does not actually fish. you advocate making criminals out of people… and the people in the oba who support licensing will find people like me donating time and money to depose them. the danger will be the plp taking over because of imbeciles advocating making everyone get a license. do not try and take away my rights and then sell them back to me statist

      • Buck-a-Roo says:

        So angry, J. Galt.

        Regulation doesn’t criminalize people – their own actions criminalize them. Regulation simply provides reasonable guidelines where self-governance has failed.

        What rights do you have to fish? ‘Rights’ defined by a sense of entitlement? You currently enjoy the privilege of being able to fish.

        What if the licences were free? No fee attached. In the interests of responsible conservation of the limited resources being consumed by a growing population, do you not think people enjoying the privilege of fishing should be held accountable by way of regulation? Self governance (in absence of regulation or guidelines) is clearly failing.

  2. Jeremy Deacon says:

    will we ever learn? will we ever have a conscience? will we ever truly care for others?

  3. well says:

    I do not think that chair was thrown in it looks to be in very good condition. It was most likely put there from the hurricane. which leads to the importance of securing your item Before a storm hits. it not only can damage cars and house but can also end-up in the sea and damage sea life.

    • well says:

      also there is a lot hurricane damage from last season that has still not been cleaned up yet. example the fallen tree in the water by #1 gate St Davies

  4. Ladybug says:

    This just infuriates me, I don’t think the point would have been made if those photos were not shown – even though they are so hard to look at.

    We take our home for granted and the amazing life that surrounds us.

    Get it together Bermuda – before we are our own demise.

    • It is sad, but what’s REALLY sad is we have a louder outcry for animals then we do for our fellow men.

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Want to see a mess of tangled fishing line? Snorkel around the point of 9 beaches off the rocks where people fish. Disgusting.

    Not only is it dangerous to sealife it is dangerous to snorkelers as it is a popular area with visitors. At one point there were many fish in the area. Now, not so much. Fished out by people who have no concern for anyone or anything but themselves.

    • I agree, and there are those of a certain nationality that fish all over the island catching SMALL fish.

  6. Capt New Simons says:

    It’s really tragic. Turtles are a valuable part of our ecosystem and we must all be vigilant to protect these wonderful animals. Nothing prangs my prop more than seeing terrible images such as these. How the chair ended up in the ocean is subject to speculation but responsible Mariners should do their part and collect trash from our beautiful oceans. It takes a real champ to pick up after others. Kudos to Commodore JB of BBIRYC who has partnered with local and overseas groups to revamp the turtle conservation program here. People must appreciate that turtles are our friends- sharks and dolphins not so much.

  7. john galt says:

    chances are that chair washed into the sea during a storm
    the growth on it is more then a few days

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