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Aula del Mar association reports sharp increase in sea plastic levels

The councillor for the Environment shows the turtle released on Thursday.
The councillor for the Environment shows the turtle released on Thursday. / SUR
  • The Malaga marine conservation organisation rescued four turtles which had consumed plastic last year

The heads of the Aula del Mar marine conservation organisation in Malaga reported on Thursday what they consider to be a sharp rise in levels of plastic found in the Mediterranean Sea.

Over the course of last year, the organisation rescued four turtles which had to be admitted to the Marine Species Recovery Centre (Crema) due to health problems caused by the ingestion of plastics. Another died with plastic found in its intestines. The ones that survived are in improving health.

Coinciding with the presentation of the association's activities of the past year, attended by councillor for Environmental Sustainability, José del Río, Aula del Mar released a turtle that was rescued in May 2018.

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was rescued at sea, trapped in a piece of netting, which caused injuries and an infection. As in many other cases, small pieces of plastic were noted in its digestive system which were directly responsible for the buoyancy control problems it was suffering.

Last year, the Aula del Mar association took part in a total of 30 rescues on the beaches of Malaga. Although last year was not a significant year in terms of the volume of animals in need of help, the centre rescued eight live animals, including dolphins and sea turtles.

In addition to the recovery activities, eight necropsies of animal corpses were carried out, from which more than 150 samples were collected for future studies.