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Potential interaction between plastic litter and green turtle Chelonia mydas during nesting in an extremely polluted beach

Gündoğdu, Sedat, Yeşilyurt, İrem Nur, Erbaş, Celal
Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.140 pp. 138-145
Chelonia mydas, fabrics, females, foams, nesting, nests, plastics, turtles, water pollution, Mediterranean Sea
This study examines the extent of macroplastic pollution on Samandağ beach and the potential effects on green sea turtles during nesting. For this purpose, a total of 39 different turtle tracks were studied. Mean plastic concentration was found to be 19.5 ± 1.2 pcs m−2. Among the different types of crawling, the highest concentrations of plastics were found on the tracks of turtles that did not attempt to dig nests (25.9 ± 8.4 pcs m−2). In total, 7 different types of plastics (disposable, film, fishing-related, foam, fragments, miscellaneous, and textile) were found, with film-type plastics being the most prevalent (11 pcs m−2). Samandağ beach was found to be greatly more polluted than any other beach in the Mediterranean Sea. We concluded that this pollution can cause negative effects, especially entanglement and entrapment, on green sea turtle females and hatchlings.