There have been sea turtles on Earth for over 100 million years. In this week’s Extinction Sucks Aleisha Caruso and Ashleigh Young spring into action to try and ensure we have sea turtles for many years to come.
There are seven species of sea turtles and all of them are under the threat of extinction. Problems range from turtle eggs being eaten by pigs, turtles choking on plastic bags mistaken for jellyfish and ghost nets.
Ghost nets are fishing nets either lost or abandoned which trap the sea turtle, keeping them below the surface until they suffer a horrible and slow death.
Aleisha and Ash arrange a ‘turtle tennis’ day (in keeping with the net theme) where they collect sponsorship money and sell their Extinction Sucks t-shirts in order to raise money. It’s worth checking out the Babblegum video to catch the snippet of the two girls playing tennis against a panda and a gorilla.
Money raised at the event is spent on a second-hand quad bike that’ll become a hugely valuable asset in patrolling the beaches of Mapoon in the far north of Queensland. Mapoon is aboriginal land near Weipa but the Elders have given permission for the beaches to be checked for ghost nets and the turtles monitored.
Mapoon is an essential site for the ghost net project as all seven species of sea turtles can be found there. The vast beach, however, is extremely challenging to patrol on foot. Temperatures easily reach 40 degrees centigrade. The quad bike allows more of the beach to be combed more quickly and more often.
Do check out the girls as they try and cross an ankle-deep seawater inlet on the beach. What do you think of their ‘shark’?
In Pure Spirit
Some countries around the world have begun to introduce plastic bag taxes for supermarkets. Supermarkets, in turn, have started to charge consumers for the use of the bags. Do you think this is a good idea? Will initiatives like that really filter down to help the environment and animals like the sea turtles?