Hawksbill sea turtle killed by plastic waste in Gulf of Thailand

by Pratch Rujivanarom

A hawksbill sea turtle which was found washed ashore Pattaya’s Na Jomtien Beach is just the latest victim of the Thailand severe marine debris problem .

The Royal Thai Navy’s Sea Turtle Conservation Centre found the rotting carcass on Chon Buri’s Na Jomtien Beach on Sunday. An autopsy reveals 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. Veterinarian added that the turtle was around a year old, though no microchip was found.

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Leading Thai 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 the past weekend. He said many turtles were also dying from being trapped in fishing nets or being hit by boats. He is urging Thai authorities to 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.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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