Clean water helps turtle

Created 13 March 2018
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It is important for sea turtles to have clean water, especially around places where they come to lay their eggs. Plastic bags do not help them. People on Lý Sơn Island are being asked not to use plastic bags for the sakes of the turtles.

 

Concrete dykes and rapid urbanisation development in Lý Sơn Island limit the return of sea turtle for egg laying on warm and quiet beaches. — VNS Photo Công Thành

It is important for sea turtles to have clean water, especially around places where they come to lay their eggs.

Plastic bags do not help them.

People on Lý Sơn Island are being asked not to use plastic bags for the sakes of the turtles.

There are many more people around in the areas where turtles have always laid their eggs.

LÝ SƠN ISLAND — The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) plans to launch a communication campaign to promote the non-use of plastic bags as a prelude to its sea turtle conservation programme on Lý Sơn Island in 2018.

IUCN’s Marine and Coastal resource programme co-ordinator Bùi Thị Thu Hiền told Việt Nam News that the communication campaign aimed to raise awareness among islanders and tourists of the need to create clean and safe marine areas for sea turtles returning to the island in the near future.

Hiền said other activities related to marine environment cleaning and protection would be launched beginning next year to boost sea turtle conservation in the area where turtles had laid their eggs in the past decades.

According to IUCN’s research, the sea turtle population in central coastal areas has seriously declined in recent years.

Quảng Ngãi beaches, including areas in Bình Sơn District on Lý Sơn Island, witnessed 200 sea turtles regularly approaching the beaches to lay their eggs in 1980s.

However, the figure dropped by 90 per cent between 1980 and 2000 due to rapid urbanisation, over-fishing and the construction of buildings and concrete dykes.

According to IUCN Việt Nam, only eight out of 16 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Việt Nam offer sea turtle conservation.

Hiền said MPA in Lý Sơn Island still struggles with a lack of investment and human resources for sea turtle conservation.

Beaches in Quảng Ngãi were home to species including green turtles (Chelonia mydas), hawkbills (Eretmochelis imbricate) and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea).

According to Lê Xuân Ái, a sea turtle conservationist, beaches in Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Nam, Bình Định, Phú Yên and Bình Thuận provinces were favourite sites for sea turtles to lay their eggs.

Ái succeeded last year in releasing nearly 900 baby turtles into the sea in a pilot programme for ex-situ sea turtle conservation in the Chàm Islands, off the coast of Quảng Nam Province.

Sea turtle eggs, which had been laid 40 days earlier on Côn Đảo Island, were brought to hatch in sand nests on the Chàm Islands’ beaches before the baby sea turtles made their way into the sea.

Last year, IUCN, in co-operation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, started a marine environment protection communications programme for sea turtle conservation on An Bình Islet, three miles off Lý Sơn Island.

Paintings of ocean life and species were created on the walls of households in An Bình Islet, calling on local islanders and tourists to join hands to protect the marine environment and sea turtles. — VNS

GLOSSARY

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) plans to launch a communication campaign to promote the non-use of plastic bags as a prelude to its sea turtle conservation programme on Lý Sơn Island in 2018.

A communication campaign is a drive to send messages to people about something. In this case it is about the importance of not using plastic bags.

A prelude is an introduction.

IUCN’s Marine and Coastal resource programme co-ordinator Bùi Thị Thu Hiền told Việt Nam News that the communication campaign aimed to raise awareness among islanders and tourists of the need to create clean and safe marine areas for sea turtles returning to the island in the near future.

Marine means to do with the sea.

Hiền said other activities related to marine environment cleaning and protection would be launched beginning next year to boost sea turtle conservation in the area where turtles had laid their eggs in the past decades.

To boost means to improve.

Conservation means keeping things as they are. In this case it means keeping sea turtles alive and well.

A decade is a period of ten years.

According to IUCN’s research, the sea turtle population in central coastal areas has seriously declined in recent years.

A turtle population is the total number of turtles in a certain area.

Declined means “goes down”.

However, the figure dropped by 90 per cent between 1980 and 2000 due to rapid urbanisation, over-fishing and the construction of buildings and concrete dykes.

Urbanisation is the process of people moving from rural areas into the cities.

Dykes are walls that are built to keep water out, especially during times of flooding.

Hiền said MPA in Lý Sơn Island still struggles with a lack of investment and human resources for sea turtle conservation.

If there is a lack of investment few people, or no people, are putting money into the island’s economy.

Human resources are people who have the skills that are needed for something, in this case sea turtle conservation.

Beaches in Quảng Ngãi were home to species including green turtles (Chelonia mydas), hawkbills (Eretmochelis imbricate) and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea).

A species of animal, or plant, is a type of animal or plant.

Ái succeeded last year in releasing nearly 900 baby turtles into the sea in a pilot programme for ex-situ sea turtle conservation in the Chàm Islands, off the coast of Quảng Nam Province.

A pilot programme is a small project that is also an experiment.

Ex-situ conservation of sea turtles means working to save them outside of where they live in the wild.

Paintings of ocean life and species were created on the walls of households in An Bình Islet, calling on local islanders and tourists to join hands to protect the marine environment and sea turtles.

An islet is a very small island.

Islanders are people who live on an island.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. People who live on islands.
  2. The type of turtle with the scientific name Chelonia mydas.
  3. The place that baby turtles make their way to after hatching.
  4. The distance, in miles, between An Bình Islet and Lý Sơn Island.
  5. The sandy place where turtles lay their eggs.

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ANSWERS: 1. Islanders; 2. Green; 3. Sea; 4. Three; 5. Beach.

 

Source: VNN

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