Thailand: Shores awash with injured sea turtles
By Kritsada Mueanghawong & Winai Sarot, 18th September 2015;
Four Olive Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were found injured on Kamala and Bang Tao Beaches within a 48 hour period this week.
All four turtles were in very weak condition, confirmed Patcharaporn Gaewmong, a Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) veterinarian.
“Three of the turtles had severed flippers,” Ms Patcharaporn said.
Experts believe that the turtles were caught in fishing nets and lost their flippers while trying to escape.
“If the waves were mild they would be able to survive in the sea. However, with strong waves like these, they cannot swim well enough with only three flippers,” Ms Patcharaporn added.
According to the PMBC, there have been more than ten injured sea turtles stranded on Phuket’s beaches during this monsoon season, most of them either had severed flippers or were ill from eating plastic bags and rubbish.
“People must stop throwing rubbish into the sea and all fishermen need to be careful with their fishing nets. If you catch a turtle, please carefully release them from the net,” said Ms Patcharaporn. “If they have serious injuries, please call us instead of releasing them back into the sea, so that we can help them.”
Earlier this week, a dolphin died as the PMBC attempted to transport it to their facilities. PMBC staff believe that the dolphin had eaten a plastic bag, ultimately leading to its death
Source: Phuket Gazette