New Delhi: “A dead dolphin had washed ashore three days back at Versova. Now, we have witnessed a death of a fully grown olive turtle. Beautiful species are meeting a tragic end. We have to stop this..These deaths are somehow the result of our actions – we are consuming plastic and littering our planet to such an extent that it has started taking the life out of our ocean,” says Mumbai’s beach crusader, Afroz Shah, who initiated the world’s biggest beach clean-up at Versova in 2015. On Sunday, after his weekly clean-up, Afroz shared pictures of the dead olive turtle with netizens, urging them to save the oceans from marine pollution. He said,
Week 134: A fully grown dead olive turtle washes ashore @versovabeach. Decomposed. A painful sight.
Week 134 . #marinedebris Chronicle
A fully grown dead olive turtle washes ashore @versovabeach. Decomposed.A painful sight .
A dead dolphin had washed ashore 3 days back.
Beautiful species meeting tragic end. pic.twitter.com/hx8EJXQky3
— Afroz Shah (@AfrozShah1) May 7, 2018
Last week, after week 133 clean-up, Afroz Shah shared 5.5-ft-long dead dolphin pictures that was washed ashore at Versova beach.
Sharing the heart-wrenching pics of a dead dolphin on his social media, Afroz asserted, “It is a very painful experience.”
Week 133 . #Marinedebris Chronicle .
A dead dolphin washes ashore at @versovabeach .A very painful experience.
Forest officials arrive at the scene . Dear dolphin is given a decent burial.
— Afroz Shah (@AfrozShah1) May 2, 2018
Marine experts claim that it is extremely difficult to find out the reason behind the death of these marine animals as the carcass of both dolphin and turtle has been decomposed.
In Mumbai, Dolphin is the third marine mammal that had died this year at a city beach.
Each year, we are losing thousands of seabirds, sea turtles due to plastic pollution. Plastic litter has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife. We need to understand this and cut-short our dependence on plastics, says Afroz.
Why We Need To Stop
Nearly 1 million birds, 100,000 whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, and turtles, die every single year because of plastic pollution. The problem of plastic pollution is so huge that even the Arctic oceans have not been spared. A recent report by Norwegian researchers found that there are traces of plastic everywhere in the Arctic Ocean.
Speaking of India’s share in plastic pollution, the country produces around 15,342.6 tonnes of plastic waste every day. Moreover, it is ranked 12 and is among the top 20 countries that dump maximum plastic waste into the oceans.
Experts predict that by 2020, India will become the third largest plastic consumer in the world, so there will be a lot more plastic waste in circulation.
Afroz Shah signs off by saying,
The sights of mammals dying are painful and sad, to say the least. Our efforts to love and protect nature needs to be scaled and shored up.
Maharashtra government has already put a state-wide ban on the use, storage, sale, distribution and transportation of selected plastic items. The government has issued a plastic ban notice on March 23 and has given consumers and shopkeepers one months’ time to prepare for the ban in the state.
As per the ban, after one months’ time, violators will be fined Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 for first and second-time offences respectively. Whereas, a third-time offender will be fined Rs. 25,000 and can also face three months imprisonment.