Jellyfish invasion – Where are the turtles now?

submitted by The Archbishop's Seminary : Benjamin Dalli  for 11-14
dissemination(s): newspaper, school magazine, website
filed under Photos

The “jellyfish problem” in Malta persists year after year, thus becoming a major concern of tourists and locals alike, therefore coming to one question: Where are the turtles now?  Ironically, turtles are becoming endangered due to waste left by the same people who complain about the increasing amount of jellyfish.  A turtle’s diet consists of many small sea creatures such as jellyfish.  This is a threat to marine creatures as these plastic bits are mistaken for jellyfish and swallowed.  Apart from this, the turtle’s habitat is secluded beaches, and the overexpoitation of sandy beaches is furthermore eliminating turtles.  Fishing is a traditional trade in the Maltese Islands and fishermen, together with their catch, have incidentally captured turtles.  After being injured by bycatch, they are then released, without any medical attention.  Hotels and restaurants sometimes dump untreated chemicals into the sea, jeopardising marine life.  Turtles are consequently protected to avoid extinction.

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