Ramana Welsh is pictured swimming with a green sea turtle on Christmas day. Welsh and her son Temanava enjoyed this special experience with the help of guide Charlotte Piho. PHOTO: CHARLOTTE PIHO/20122842
Waterwoman and renowned photographer Charlotte Piho has made renewed calls to end ocean plastic waste after a turtle found to have ingested a plastic bag was found dead on a Rarotonga beach last week.
Her calls follow the sad discovery of the washed up dead
green turtle on Rutaki beach last week.
After a close inspection, it was found that a piece of
plastic had become stretched tightly across the inside of its throat.
Piho, a multi-international award winning ocean
photographer, said: “Turtles have a special place in my heart and for all those
that have swam with them here in the Cook Islands. So, this news is so, so
“Green sea turtles, most common here in Rarotonga, represent
a continuous connection between land and sea. Their lives are a constant cycle
of nesting on land and travelling the seas.
“Unfortunately, they are heavily impacted by plastic
pollution as they travel in the same currents that carry plastic debris; often
mistaking the scent of stinky plastic for food.”
Piho has offered some plastic free tips other than the
well-known reusable water bottles/reusable shopping bags and bamboo straws:
- Switch to a compostable bamboo toothbrush. Plastic
toothbrushes are a common item found in clean-ups.
- If having a drink 'to go' use a reusable cup. 500 billion disposable coffee cups are
produced each year.
- If you see plastic, pick it up. Every single piece of
plastic you remove from the environment makes a difference.
“Remember big problems are often solved with small actions
undertaken by many individuals.”