Half Mediterranean turtles have plastic in bodies

Study released for World Environment Day

04 June, 17:30

    ROME - Half of the turtles in the Mediterranean Sea have plastic in their bodies, according to an international study that the research center of the Italian ministry for environmental protection, ISPRA, took part in. The results were released on Monday ahead of World Environment Day on June 5. The European project Indicit uses the Caretta Caretta sea turtles as indicators of the impact of plastic on animals in the Mediterranean. The Caretta Caretta turtles are widespread in several different habitats and eat trash in the sea. In addition to ISPRA, Indicit involved international partners from Greece, Spain, the Canary Islands, the Azores, France, Tunisia and Turkey. After a first year of analysis conducted on 611 turtles (187 live ones and 4242 dead ones found on beaches), it was found that 53% of those had eaten plastic.
    Of the dead turtles, some 63% had plastic in their digestive tracts, while traces were found in 31% of the feces of live ones. The initial results of the project show how plastic objects move from one sea to another - even over long distances - via sea currents. The wrapping of French snacks, straws, caps, fishing lines and hooks were all found in the stomach of turtles that washed up dead on Italian beaches. 

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