This video shows the detrimental effects of so-called ghost nets on marine animals.
***Warning: GRAPHIC CONTENT***
Video Credit and Copyright: Christine Figgener
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Almost to the day exactly one year ago my research team found a plastic drinking straw embedded in a male olive ridley sea turtle’s nostril (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wH878t78bw). We removed it and hopefully eased his suffering and improved his quality of life.
This past 9th of August 2016, my research team once again encountered a sea turtle in distress.
We found an exhausted olive ridley female swimming close to our research boat and she was dragging a huge bulk of discarded fishing net behind her. Parts of it were wrapped around her throat and had already started to cut into her flesh.
We took her onboard our boat, cut-off the net, and disinfected her cuts with iodine. Due to the knowledge of the scarcity of sea turtle rehab facilities and lack of expert care for injured sea turtles in Costa Rica, we released the female back into the water since she seemed otherwise healthy and strong.
As biologists, we don’t actively seek out injured wildlife, but our research happens to position us at the front-lines of reality looking at the detrimental effects of human impact on wildlife.
Our research is approved by the US IACUC and is conducted under research permits issued by the Costa Rican government, MINAE/SINAC and CONAGEBio.
If you like what my research team and I are doing, please consider donating to our GoFundMe campaign to finance our next field season. https://www.gofundme.com/wuhvd6zj
If you would like to find out more about our work in Costa Rica and the members of our field team, Brie Myre, Kim Lato, and Marcus Saikaley, check out our field blog http://plotkinlabtamu.wixsite.com/plotkinlab/blog
At this point, I would like to thank again everyone that donated to my GoFundMe Campaign during the past year! Without you, this field season 2016 wouldn’t have been possible and we wouldn’t have been to the right time at the right place to help. Thank you!
If you are interested in following my adventures in the world of marine turtles and ocean conservation, make sure to also follow me on Social Media:
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Christine Figgener, Dipl.-Biol. (M.S.)
“Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea. They can entangle fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures, including the occasional human diver. Acting as designed, the nets restrict movement, causing starvation, laceration and infection, and suffocation in those that need to return to the surface to breathe. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_net
If you would like to learn more about Ghost Nets.