Nearly 300 pieces of de­bris found in 19 dead sea tur­tles

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kang Seung-woo [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

Nine­teen sea tur­tles that lived off­shore here and were found dead re­cently, had in­gested nearly 300 pieces of plas­tic de­bris, ac­cord­ing to a law­maker, Mon­day, rais­ing con­cerns over wors­en­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion in the ocean.

Cit­ing in­for­ma­tion from the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Ecol­ogy and the Na­tional Ma­rine Bio­di­ver­sity In­sti­tute of Korea, Rep. Jeong Woon-chun of the mi­nor op­po­si­tion Bare­un­mi­rae Party said 294 pieces of ocean waste were found in 19 sea tur­tles of three species — three green sea tur­tles, 15 log­ger­head sea tur­tles and one olive ri­d­ley sea tur­tle.

Fiber types of waste such as nets and ropes made up the ma­jor­ity of de­bris they had eaten at 119, fol­lowed by plas­tic bags at 98 and other plas­tic prod­ucts at 21. There were also 56 kinds of poly­styrene waste.

The re­sults come as pub­lic at­ten­tion re­gard­ing the pro­tec­tion of ma­rine crea­tures from plas­tic pol­lu­tion is grow­ing af­ter a video of a sea tur­tle in Costa Rica hav­ing a plas­tic straw re­moved from its nose went vi­ral in 2015.

To re­duce ma­rine pol­lu­tion, the gov­ern­ment has un­veiled a va­ri­ety of mea­sures, but crit­ics say its plans are not com­pre­hen­sive or enough.

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