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Plastic waste in oceans killing marine life in coastal waters in VN

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In late December, a 10-year old sea turtle with broken legs was discovered by SASA, the rescue force, and carried ashore for treatment in Da nang.

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The sea turtle receives medical treatment


An X-ray and ultrasound scan at a hospital showed an astonishing amount of plastic waste inside the turtle. Despite thorough care and endoscopic surgery, the turtle was still weak and needed more time to recover.

Ten years ago, the sea city of Nha Trang in the central region organized a workshop to discuss local tourism development and natural resources. 

While attendees at the workshop were busy talking about the landscapes of the city and the potential to develop tourism and the economy, a young woman took the floor and talked about sea turtles.

The woman, representing an NGO, asked travelers to set aside some beaches for sea turtles to lay eggs in the spawning season. The suggestion was viewed as ridiculous by businesspeople who were trying to make more and more money. This was one example of the Vietnamese people’s low awareness of the need to protect wildlife and natural resources.

Many sea turtle species are listed in the Red Book as endangered and need strict protection as they are on the verge of extinction. Turtles are one of thousands of creatures which have become victims of waste.

A scientist said he had seen a turtle with the middle part of us body constricted by a plastic belt. He explained that sea turtles usually mistake plastic pieces for jellyfish, one of its favorite foods. Plastic bags block turtle’s digestive systems, resulting in slow death and pain due to hunger.

More and more hotels have arisen in coastal areas, encroaching on the living environment of coastal animals. And some hotels still serve dishes made with sea turtles, ignoring the warning that they need protection.

Vietnam ranks high among countries that emit large amounts of plastic waste into the oceans. In 2010, with 1.8 million tons of plastic waste, Vietnam ranked fourth, after China, Indonesia and the Philippines, among 20 countries which contributed the highest amounts of plastic waste, according to a report.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said at a conference on developing a national action plan on ocean plastic waste management in Hanoi in December 2018 that protecting the marine environment is one of the major objectives for sustainable development in Vietnam

Experts say Vietnam has to spend $5 billion a year to cut 45 percent of plastic waste in the next 10 years.



Source: VietNamNet

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