Printer Friendly

Tough action call over dead sea turtles.

TOUGHER laws punishing those who pollute Bahrain's waters with plastic and fishing waste have been called for, as eight sea turtles were found dead within a week.

Reports of the dead turtles sighted at shores across Bahrain within one week were registered by the Animal and Environment Protection Charity Organisation (AEPCO) after they were flagged on social media.

Measures

Bahrain has started regulating the use of single-use plastic bags, with the aim of turning non-biodegradable plastic products into degradable ones.

The country has also imposed a ban on trawling as part of measures to protect marine life and revive fish stocks which have plummeted by 90 per cent since 2004.

However, AEPCO president Shaikha Marwa bint Abdulrahman Al Khalifa said more needed to be done to protect the country's marine life, including adopting stricter legislation, introducing more regulations and increasing monitoring.

She has urged relevant authorities to conduct an immediate investigation into the cause of the deaths and release the findings in a transparent manner.

"The recent deaths had led the organisation to question why the dead turtles have been removed silently from the shores without releasing statements or conducting autopsies to reveal the cause of death, which would be a crucial step in gaining answers to solve this epidemic," said Shaikha Marwa in a statement.

Investigation

"(We demand) the relevant authorities to urgently conduct an investigation into the cause of death through autopsies with complete transparency.

"This conclusion will provide the relevant findings that will help in the adoption of solutions and laws for this turtle epidemic."

She also accused fishermen of playing a role in polluting Bahrain's seas by dumping fishing residue such as nets and old equipment, which she said was a major contributor to the destruction of marine life.

In the statement, Shaikha Marwa called for stricter laws to be adopted to punish such offenders to protect marine life.

"Relevant authorities are required to take firm action urgently as failure to do so will result in a catastrophe, leading to the extinction of the already vulnerable turtle species," she added.

"If the turtles' deaths continue without a solution, Bahrain will lose its rich marine life, which it was once famous for."

Experts predict that 18 billion tonnes of plastic waste will stuff the earth's landfills by 2025, in addition to the eight million tonnes being dumped into oceans annually.

Waste leaking into oceans costs at least $8bn in damage to marine ecosystems around the world, with up to 80pc of all marine litter made up of plastic.

Alarm

In 2016, officials from the Supreme Council for Environment blamed fishermen, who go trawling for shrimp, for killing eight Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) which got caught in fishing nets.

In 2014, environmentalists sounded the alarm over an overwhelming rise in dead sea mammals being found in Bahrain.

They claimed sea creatures, especially dolphins, were in danger with at least two deaths recorded each month that year.

They attributed illegal fishing practices and engine turbines as suspected reasons for the deaths.

ghazi@gdn.com.bh

[c] Copyright 2019 www.gdnonline.com

(Image: gdnimages/20190820\20190820005500turt.JPG)

TOUGHER laws punishing those who pollute Bahrain's waters with plastic and fishing waste have been called for, as eight sea turtles were found dead within a week.

Reports of the dead turtles sighted at shores across Bahrain within one week were registered by the Animal and Environment Protection Charity Organisation (AEPCO) after they were flagged on social media.

Measures

Bahrain has started regulating the use of single-use plastic bags, with the aim of turning non-biodegradable plastic products into degradable ones.

The country has also imposed a ban on trawling as part of measures to protect marine life and revive fish stocks which have plummeted by 90 per cent since 2004.

However, AEPCO president Shaikha Marwa bint Abdulrahman Al Khalifa said more needed to be done to protect the country's marine life, including adopting stricter legislation, introducing more regulations and increasing monitoring.

She has urged relevant authorities to conduct an immediate investigation into the cause of the deaths and release the findings in a transparent manner.

"The recent deaths had led the organisation to question why the dead turtles have been removed silently from the shores without releasing statements or conducting autopsies to reveal the cause of death, which would be a crucial step in gaining answers to solve this epidemic," said Shaikha Marwa in a statement.

Investigation

"(We demand) the relevant authorities to urgently conduct an investigation into the cause of death through autopsies with complete transparency.

"This conclusion will provide the relevant findings that will help in the adoption of solutions and laws for this turtle epidemic."

She also accused fishermen of playing a role in polluting Bahrain's seas by dumping fishing residue such as nets and old equipment, which she said was a major contributor to the destruction of marine life.

In the statement, Shaikha Marwa called for stricter laws to be adopted to punish such offenders to protect marine life.

"Relevant authorities are required to take firm action urgently as failure to do so will result in a catastrophe, leading to the extinction of the already vulnerable turtle species," she added.

"If the turtles' deaths continue without a solution, Bahrain will lose its rich marine life, which it was once famous for."

Experts predict that 18 billion tonnes of plastic waste will stuff the earth's landfills by 2025, in addition to the eight million tonnes being dumped into oceans annually.

Waste leaking into oceans costs at least $8bn in damage to marine ecosystems around the world, with up to 80pc of all marine litter made up of plastic.

Alarm

In 2016, officials from the Supreme Council for Environment blamed fishermen, who go trawling for shrimp, for killing eight Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) which got caught in fishing nets.

In 2014, environmentalists sounded the alarm over an overwhelming rise in dead sea mammals being found in Bahrain.

They claimed sea creatures, especially dolphins, were in danger with at least two deaths recorded each month that year.

They attributed illegal fishing practices and engine turbines as suspected reasons for the deaths.

ghazi@gdn.com.bh

[c] Copyright 2019 www.gdnonline.com

Copyright 2019 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).
COPYRIGHT 2019 SyndiGate Media Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Aug 20, 2019
Words:1046
Previous Article:CBRE named consultant for AXA.
Next Article:Ritz-Carlton opens new meeting facility.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters