Fisheries Bycatch

Incidental capture in fishing gear (also known as bycatch) is likely the greatest threat to sea turtles and many other species worldwide. Approximately 40% of all animals caught in fisheries are discarded as trash. Marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and other species are caught and discarded, usually dead. For those animals that are caught and released injured but still alive, their fate after being released is unknown.

Trawls, longlines, driftnets, gillnets, pots, and traps are all responsible for the death of marine creatures by incidental capture or entanglement. Longlines, containing thousands of baited hooks on lines that can be tens of miles long, hook and entangle many animals and fish that aren't intended to be caught.  Sea turtles, particularly greens, loggerheads, olive ridley’s, and leatherbacks, and seabirds like albatross, are attracted to the bait and get caught on the hooks or become entangled in the lines and drown. 

Illegal Poaching of Sea Turtles

Despite laws protecting sea turtles in most countries, the illegal trade of eggs, meat, and shells (known as poaching) of turtles continues to be a threat. In many parts of the world, these animals are harvested for their meat and eggs which are used for human consumption and in some places are considered a delicacy. In many countries, the trade in turtle eggs is a big industry that provides income to many people. 

Their shells and skins are also used to make a variety of objects like jewelry, sunglasses, tourist trinkets, instruments, and wall hangings. The hawksbill is particularly valued for its shell which is used for ornamental purposes.
In Sri Lanka also these activities happen to a certain extent but legally prohibited. Police and Turtle protecting organizations keep their eyes open to prevent them.

Coastal Development & Sea Turtles

Coastal development is a broad category which includes an array of human activities including beachfront construction of homes, hotels, restaurants, and roads, often for tourism. The human alteration of coastlines forces nesting females to use other beaches, changes the properties of nesting beaches, and contributes to the pollution of sea turtle habitat from runoff and wastewater discharge. Increased coastal populations result in increased recreation and beach going vehicles.

Upon reaching sexual maturity, sea turtles generally return to the same beaches where they were hatched to lay eggs. Objects left on beaches, like beach chairs, create obstacles for nesting females, sometimes resulting in failed nesting attempts. Obstacles on beaches can also be hazards to hatchlings as they get trapped in depressions and are unable to make it to the ocean.
Seawall construction creates impenetrable barriers to nesting females and causes unnatural erosion of beaches.  Boats are responsible for large numbers of sea turtle injuries and deaths. As coastal populations increase, boating activities increase and collisions with sea turtles that must surface to breathe are inevitable.

Our Kosgoda beach do not have high numbers of visitors or large hotels and ensure that the lodgings we use are turtle-friendly. We continuously act with volunterrs to keep the beach naturally friendly for turtle activities.

Ocean Plastic & Sea Turtles

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales, and other marine mammals, and seabirds die each year from ocean pollution and ingestion or entanglement in marine debris. Marine debris is manmade waste that is directly or indirectly disposed of in oceans, rivers, and other waterways.

Most trash reaches the seas via rivers, and 80% originates from landfills and other urban sources. Common marine debris items includes things like cigarette butts, cans, plastic bags and bottles, styrofoam, balloons, and toothbrushes. Discarded or lost fishing gear such as lines, nets and buoys are especially dangerous to sea life. 

Plastic bags are petroleum-based and do not biodegrade.Sea turtles and other marine creatures mistake plastics and other garbage as food (such as jellyfish) and ingest it. This mistake causes blockages within their digestive system and eventual death.