Swimming With Green Sea Turtles
These majestic beings are amazing but endangered
GETTING THE SHOT
Off the Northwest coast of Aruba we were fortunate enough to swim inches away and document a family of Green Sea Turtles.
These majestic creatures are very social and like to hang out together in calm warm water where they can feed on some algae and other grassy snacks.
We met up with them about 100 feet off the coast of Tres Trapi Beach early in the morning before the boats scare them off for the day.
Each one we encountered had their own unique personalities and behaviors. Most of them let us get super close to them. We assume they knew we were fellow vegans:)
-They are very social beings. We hung out with a family of 3–5 of them over the course of three early morning swims.
-They spend most of their life under the water but need to come up for air every 5 minutes or so. We got lots of amazing footage of them surfacing. They typically like to take about 3 breaths before going back down. They usually take a little extra time to decide if they need that third breath.
-They are vegan (at least as adults). Their diet consists of seagrasses, seaweeds and algae. They didn’t seem to mind us getting super close to them as they snacked.
Not So Fun Facts:
-They are endangered because of us.
-Each year about 400,000 turtles are captured, injured and killed in both small and big fishing activities around the world.
-That is more than 8 million sea turtles killed in the last 20 years because of fishing and discarded gear.
-A lot of attention and outrage of these disturbing facts is focused on things like plastic straws. But that is mostly a distraction from the real culprit, which is all the amazing sea life we eat (most of which is unnecessary).
A Straw Fact Overview:
-There are about 150 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean.
-Straws comprise 0.025 percent of that.
-One of the biggest sources of ocean plastic is discarded fishing nets, ropes, crates, baskets, and other fishing devices–accounting for at least 20–30 percent.
-The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to be 46 percent fishing nets.
-Fishing nets kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of turtles, dolphins and sharks every year (an exact calculation would be “way way way more” than straws).
-We also destroy our oceans by land. Since 1950, ocean dead zones have quadrupled to more than 550 and rising. This dramatic surge is linked to worldwide industrial animal agriculture.
-Yes, plastic straws are bad. They get caught in turtles’ noses. They disintegrate into micro-plastics eaten by birds and sea life.
-But that is not what’s causing the catastrophic annihilation of sea life and the environment.
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