Turtles in Great Barrier Reef Exposed to Numerous Chemicals

Published By : 25 Sep 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

According to a research published by the University of Queensland, the green turtles found near urban and farming locations are exposed to thousands of chemicals and are probably absorbing them. Associate professor Dr Caroline Gaus who conducted the research, has mentioned that most of these chemicals are associated with agriculture and industry. She further stated that though there is a perception that the contaminants get diluted in the ocean to such an extent that the marine creatures are not affected by the contaminants, the chemicals used in the day-to-day life such as in toilets, gardens, crops, and factories can affect the turtles. 

The worrying fact has been revealed by the preliminary findings from a major research project studying the impact of contaminants on turtles present in the Great Barrier Reef. The research project, River to Reef to Turtles was inspired after over 100 green turtles were found stranded at Queensland’s Upstart Bay in 2012 due to unknown reasons. The research project, currently in its first year, has studied 1131 turtles across three sites – the Howick Group of Islands, and the two coastal sites of Cleveland Bay and Upstart Bay.

According to Dr Gaus, the preliminary findings highlight the presence of high levels of metals such as molybdenum, antimony, and cobalt. Higher levels of stress-related compounds have been found in the turtles that point towards chemical exposure. Dr Gaus stated that the next step in the research would be to find the effects of the harmful chemicals on turtle health due to the combination of mixture of chemicals they are exposed to in urban localities. 

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