(CMR) As many Caymanians prepare for their annual Christmas dinners; which will no doubt include turtle meat an alarming new study has just been released!
Despite being criticized by many outsiders the Cayman Turtle Centre may now have a more pivotal sales pitch regarding the safe supply of local turtle meat. Many are claiming that this study reinforces the necessity to keep the turtle farm around as it allows for a safer supply of turtle meat since they are contained in a plastic free zone.
Plastic was found in the gut of every single sea turtle examined in a new study, casting fresh light on the scale of plastic pollution in the world's oceans.
The research, published in the journal Global Change Biology, examined more than 100 sea turtles of all seven species, across the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean.
Researchers from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, along with Greenpeace Research Laboratories, looked for synthetic particles including microplastics in the bodies of 102 sea turtles.More than 800 synthetic particles were found in the turtles and researchers warned that the true number of particles was probably 20 times higher, as only a part of each animal's gut was tested.
“The ubiquity of the presence of the particles and fibers underlines the gravity of the situation in the oceans and our need to proceed with firm and decisive action on the misuse of plastics,” senior study author Brendan Godley, professor of conservation science at the University of Exeter, told CNN in an email.
The researchers carried out their research by conducting necropsies — animal autopsies — on turtles that had died either by stranding or by being accidentally caught by fishermen. The study sites were in North Carolina, Northern Cyprus and Queensland, Australia. Synthetic particles were found in all the animals, and the most common sources of these materials were tires, cigarettes, clothing and marine equipment, including ropes and fishing nets.
“This study provides more evidence that we all need to help reduce the amount of plastic waste released to our seas and maintain clean, healthy and productive oceans for future generations,” added Pennie Lindeque, senior scientist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, in an email.