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article imageStudy claims half the world's sea turtles have eaten plastic

By Owen Weldon     Sep 20, 2015 in Environment
A new study was released and it claims that half of the planet's sea turtles have eaten some form of plastic at some point in their lives.
The new study, which was published in Global Change Biology and led by Qamar Schuyler of the University of Queensland, estimates that a little more than half of the world's sea turtles have eaten plastic debris. This amounts to about 13 million tonnes of plastic debris that is dumped into the ocean every single year.
The east coasts of Hawaii, Australia, Southeast Asia, North America and southern Africa were all areas deemed particularly dangerous. Researchers used a combo of predictive models and necroscopy evidence to come to the study's conclusions.
Researchers studied drift maps of plastic and then they compared what they found with known turtle habitats. They also compared that with the records of animals that have died after eating plastic debris. It was then estimated how many turtles were likely to have eaten debris, which was either swept out to sea or just dumped into the oceans by people.
The study also revealed that the turtle at the greatest risk of all the species was the olive ridley turtle. This type of turtle feeds on jellyfish, as well as other floating animals and it eats in the open ocean, which is where debris accumulates.
More about Study, World, Sea turtles, Turtles, Plastic
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