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There are three main threats that impact the health of sea turtles, all three caused by humans: marine fishing, pollution, and nautical traffic. Three causes that harm and kill turtles in our seas every day.
Fishing activity represents one of the three threats to which marine turtles are exposed. In particular, there are three dangers that can have a negative impact on the species: trawling, hooks from longlines, and gillnets. These three fishing gears capture or injure turtles to the point of causing serious and permanent damage, up to the death of the animal itself. The possible mortality of the animals is caused by the physical damage caused by the impact with the various parts of the gear and/or by the length of time spent underwater.
The main actor of this threat is plastic. This material constitutes 95% of the waste found in the sea. If ingested by turtles, it can lead to serious health problems, malnutrition, and even death. Plastic debris in the sea can cause lacerations while the animals swim and can trap them, causing death by drowning. Similarly, plastics and microplastics found on beaches can compromise nesting and therefore the birth of other marine turtles.
In areas where nautical traffic is more intense, the greatest danger for marine turtles is represented by ships' propellers. The impact with these naval elements can cause serious injuries to turtles, the loss of limbs, or even death. The physical trauma resulting from these collisions is often lethal.