Sea Life Centre On Mission To Help Turtles

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Sea Life centre on mission to help turtles
18th July 2017

By Sandra Pearce



A Sea Life centre has launched a campaign to help endangered sea turtles.

The charity partner of Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre, the Sea Life Trust, is making sea turtle protection and conservation its primary focus over the next 12 months.

Under the banner Team Turtle the Great Yarmouth team and Sea Life colleagues across the world will be doing their bit to tackle plastic pollution and fisheries bycatch, the two biggest killers of sea turtles.

Visitors will be asked to make pledges to help by for example, never using or buying plastic straws or only using re-usable water bottles and coffee cups.

“We will be hosting a beach clean later in the summer to remove as much hazardous plastic from our shoreline as possible,” said Sea Life Great Yarmouth’s Maxine Culleton.

“We’ll be bringing back what we find and displaying it in the centre and explaining just how long it takes for different types of plastic to break down.

“A simple plastic drinks bottle for example takes 450 years to start to break down, and even then it just degrades into smaller and smaller particles. It never actually disappears.”

Maxine and her colleagues will also be taking part in a sponsored Cross The Oceans event to raise funds which the Trust will spend on vital field work to try and ease the plight of the world’s seven species of sea turtle.

It has already funded a pioneering scheme using LED lights attached to fishing nets to reduce the number of turtles being accidentally caught and drowned.

“Early results suggest the lights cut down the casualties by more than 50%,” said Maxine.

“The trial involves 10km of surface gillnet in turtle-rich waters off the coast of Peru and is being conducted with the full support of local fishermen.

“It could save around 1,500 sea turtles over two years, and if the system were rolled out across the world it could save hundreds of thousands.”