Last update: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 12am

Green turtle's death becomes a mystery

Mystery continues to shroud over the cause of death of a large sea turtle that was found dead at the city's polluted beach last weekend. Even the fishermen and marine experts dispute the primary cause of the marine specie's death. Though the fishermen are of the view that the pollution might have killed the giant turtle, experts believed that it could be the result of a sea-borne deadly accident.

A large green marine turtle was first seen dead on Clifton beach last weekend and it was still lying there unattended by the marine ecologists and government officials concerned. "I have examined it [dead turtle] on the coast thoroughly and it gives no imprints of being hit by a vessel propeller fan on the sea. It surely died of outgrown sea pollution," Chairman Fishermen Sujaag Welfare Forum, Muhammad Buksh Jat said.

However, marine expert at WWF-Pakistan, Muhammad Moazzam Khan contradicted the fisherman's claims, saying that the turtle might have died after being crushed by a vessel in the sea. "Though it is an unfortunate incident, turtles are usually found dead on coasts," he said. Muhammad Buksh reckoned the male carcass, measuring around 47 centimeters and weighing 200 kilograms, belonged to a rare breed of the turtle family - generally known as green turtle. He said the turtles being migratory marine species, travel from one country to another and different oceans to lay eggs on coasts for reproduction.

"In fact, marine life has been adversely affected in the wake of dumping of untreated sewage water, industrial and chemical wastes in the Arabian Sea and discharge of coal-dust at Karachi port," he lamented. However, Moazzam Khan, was of the view that the turtle's death was caused by a vessel, saying "it is an usual accident happening on the sea and the turtle is not of a rare breed or endangered species." He said the green turtles were common in Pakistan and they widely inhabit along the country's coasts. Green turtles are normally large in size and considered as fastest-swimming marine species of its breed up to 32 kilometers per hour. It is commonly found in warm seawaters and prefer to inhabit in reefs, bays and inlets.

However, The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has listed green turtles as endangered species after its over-hunting and water pollution that risked its very existence on the seas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015