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Three rescued turtles released off Maltese coast

Three turtles are starting new adventures off the Maltese coast.

Gabriel, Victoria and Stef have been released at Gnejna Bay after being cared for by volunteers at the Nature Trust wildlife rescue section at San Lucjan Centre.

All three were rescued earlier this year after swallowing plastic and struggling to breathe.

Stef, in particular, was found in distress after getting her flippers caught up in a fishing net.

After months of treatment, they are now ready to brave the seas once more.


Nature Trust Malta also launched a new campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic in our seas.

More than 130 pupils from 12 schools across Malta and Gozo have signed up to the Young Reporters for the Environment scheme as part of HSBC’s Litter Less Campaign.

It comes after a study suggested that swallowing even a single piece of plastic can be deadly for sea turtles.

Researchers found there was a one in five chance of death for a turtle who consumed just one item – rising to 50% for 14 pieces.

The team found that younger turtles are at a higher risk of dying from exposure to plastic than adults.

So how big is the problem in Malta?

Jellyfish, plastic bags and balloons all look like food to a hungry sea turtle.

But plastics and trash don’t belong inside a turtle or in the sea at all.

They can lead to a number of environmental problems.

They are especially dangerous for marine animals that can become entangled or accidentally ingest these items while feeding.

Once ingested, the plastic items can cause a variety of issues.

Digestive tracts can become blocked, which can lead to starvation and death.

How you can help make a difference

  • Avoid using disposable plastics whenever possible.
  • Never litter, and always make sure rubbish is put in a bin.
  • Pick up any plastic bottles or trash you find at the beach.
  • Get involved in and organize beach cleanups.
  • Use reusable groceries bags and other reusable items.
  • Stop using plastic straws.
  • Recycle as much as possible.