Hardly a day goes by without finding dead or injured turtles along the Lebanese coast, and these incidents confirm that these remarkable marine creatures are threatened to a large extent, and this requires that all concerned authorities should take measures and strict procedures, to reduce the incidence of this nearly daily mortality, especially since these turtles represent unique ecological importance in marine ecosystems, and the loss or decline in their numbers means increasing their natural prey, particularly the jellyfish, which is their main source of food.
Early morning of Sunday 19th of February 2017, the members of the maritime rescue team of the Civil Defense, found a turtle of the species Caretta caretta floating on the surface of water in Beirut, near the American University of Beirut, the team was able to tow it back to the beach, and upon initial examination, they found what may be the leading cause of death, there were fishing hooks stuck in its mouth, including a hook and a nylon bag that caused infections and inflammation, and according to the maritime rescue members confirmed it has died recently.
A one meter long female
The Jiyeh maritime rescue center of the Civil Defense team immediately contacted Green Area international (NGO), where the NGO tried to contact the Marine Sciences Center - CNRS in the north of Lebanon to no avail, so Green Area international coordinated with the director of Ramlet El Bayda beach and the coordinator of Operation Big Blue NGO Nazih El Rayess in order to receive the dead turtle, and keep it in trust, until the concerned authorities can be contacted in order to take the appropriate decision either to bury or do an autopsy on the dead turtle, so as to document the case and record it, due to the importance and the necessity of scientific research.
The chairperson of Big Blue Association Iffat Idris told greenarea.me that "the turtle is known as the loggerhead marine turtle of the (Caretta caretta) spp., is a female one meter long that died after swallowing a plastic bag", but pointed out that "it also shows that there is a hook stuck in her tongue that aggravated its injuries".