FROM THE FIELD: Plastic pollution choking world’s oceans

7 June 2018

An underwater photographer’s chance encounter with a starving turtle led to a personal “awakening” about the dangers discarded plastic poses to sea life in the world’s oceans.

In November 2017, Saeed Rashid from the United Kingdom was taking photos during a dive on a reef in the Egyptian Red Sea when he came across a female hawksbill turtle that had swallowed a plastic bag and was, as a result, unable to eat.

The turtle probably mistook the floating plastic bag for a jellyfish which hawksbills typically eat.

It is just one example of how discarded plastic items are choking the marine ecosystem.

On World Oceans Day, marked annually on 8 June, the UN and its partners are raising awareness about the destructive force of plastic pollution across the globe.

To read more about Saeed Rashid’s turtle rescue exploits and his awakening, as well the global fight against plastic pollution go to: https://unworldoceansday.org/spotlight-article/plastic-planet.

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