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New exhibition for World Turtle Day at the Two Oceans Aquarium

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling receives care. | Two Oceans Aquarium

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling receives care. | Two Oceans Aquarium

Published May 24, 2022

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Cape Town - A pop-up exhibition at the Two Oceans Aquarium highlights sea turtles and the threats they face.

The exhibition was put together by the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, and Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) Africa.

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It also tells the story of the work being done by the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation to rehabilitate sea turtles that ingested plastic, were injured, or were entangled in ghost fishing gear or fishing equipment lost at sea.

AGP Africa, formerly Consol Glass, supported the programme that enabled the foundation to rehabilitate hundreds of stranded sea turtles rescued by members of the public in the Western Cape.

“Sea turtles are incredible ambassadors to communicate responsible use of plastic and waste management as well as sustainable fishing methods. The turtle stories are incredibly effective for inspiring conservation awareness and action.

“They bring stories of hope and show that humans can make a difference by caring enough to rescue stranded turtles, but more so by caring enough to be environmentally responsible,” Conservation manager Talitha Noble said.

Noble said 142 rescued hatchlings arrived at the Aquarium for rehabilitation this year, and on average this season, each rescued turtle expelled five pieces of plastic.

Some of the plastic pollution that was passed by larger turtles.Picture: Two Oceans Aquarium/Supplied
A pop-up exhibition at the Two Oceans Aquarium highlights sea turtles and the threats they face. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Two Oceans Aquarium spokesperson Renée Leeuwner said all sea turtle species were endangered or critically endangered, with only one or two out of thousands of hatchlings making it to adulthood and thousands killed every year through human activities.

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“It is, therefore, vitally important to rehabilitate and release sea turtles to ensure the survival of the species. But it is also vital for people to know about the threats and dangers sea turtles face,” Leeuwner said.

AGP marketing and commercial senior executive Dale Carolin said: “We have experienced first-hand just how much work needs to be done to raise awareness around responsible packaging choices and the deadly effects of unmanaged waste, but we also know that we are likely to have more of an impact working with partners who are experienced in conservation.”

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