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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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The Conservation Alliance

Ocean Wildlife Rescues

Ocean Wildlife Rescues

Seal rescue (credit: NOAA Fisheries)


Animal rescue services for pets are well recognized as places where abandoned dogs, cats, and birds can be adopted by new owners. Similar services to assist marine wildlife as seals, seabirds, and turtles in distress are needed as well. Sea turtles, marine mammals, and birds aren't pets but worldwide they are victims of increasing encounters with discarded plastic waste discarded, from fishing trawlers, dumped by municipalities, and even disposed of by entire nations that treat the oceans like a big trash pit.

A sample of rescues in Portugal, Hawai'i, Baja California, and from the Greek island of Crete illustrate what is possible when boaters, kayakers, divers, and beach goers are mindful of what they might encounter. On Crete, two people walking along the beach encountered an entangled sea turtle trapped in discarded fishing gear. They only needed to be careful in handling the turtle and use a knife to safely cut the plastic netting away from the struggling creature.

Oceans cover 70% of the Earth's surface so more efforts like these are needed. One way is to supporting a local or national organization that conducts marine rescue services with a donation of time or money. If you live by the ocean or on an island, there is likely a marine center near by and likely affiliated with NOAA. The US marine research agency is worth getting to know better. WHB

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