HEARTBREAKING video shows the moment an endangered green sea turtle was seen feeding on sewage pouring out of an underwater pipe.
The footage was taken off an island the Philippines which has been grip of a pollution crisis that forced it to be closed to tourists.
Scuba diving instruction Charn Joon Park, 39 noticed the adult female green turtle during a dive with friends along Bolabog Beach in Boracay, on September 18.
In the disturbing video, the sea turtle stuffed its head inside the opening of the pipe as the yellowish green filth poured out of it.
It appeared to be using the position to get mouthfuls of waste.
Several tropical fish were also seen feeding on the pollution as they swam around the area next to the turtle.
Ocean lover Charn, who is originally from South Korea, said: “I’m afraid that this incident could trigger another ‘closure’ of the beach but I guess people need to know about it.”
Divers and residents on the island complained to local officials.
Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the Pollution Adjudication Board had started investigating after seeing the video.
The Environmental Management Bureau Region 6 later issued a cease and desist order against local water company Boracay Tubi System to address the issue.
The Department of Environment and Natural resources analysed the water near the pipe and it tested positive for Coliform bacteria
Coliform bacteria is usually found in human or animal waste.
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In 2019, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte described Boracay Island as a “cesspool” due to pollution and ordered the temporary closure from April to October 2018.
The island attracted two million visitors the previous year but has now limited numbers to 19,000 a day and banned beach parties, smoking and drinking.
Green sea turtles are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is protected from exploitation in most countries.
Are sea turtles endangered and when do they nest?
Are they endangered?
Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as Endangered. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation.
Leatherbacks are listed on the Endangered Species Act as endangered, and as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List.
They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear.
Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites. It alters sand temperatures, which then affects the sex of hatchlings.
Experts say pollution and plastics are already a problem for endangered sea turtles – irresponsible beach goers during a holiday week only make matters worse.
When do they nest?
Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1 to November 15 – and there are many signs on American beaches for beachgoers not to touch or go near the nests.
Violators are subject to hefty fines for disturbing, harassing, poaching and killing sea turtles.
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