Saturday, February 16 2019

VietNamNews

Repairing plastic’s marine damage

Update: January, 26/2019 - 09:00
Members of SaSa rescue team save a dolphin at sea. — Photo courtesy SaSa team
Viet Nam News

Plastic bags look like jellyfish to dolphins out in the ocean.

Dolphins eat jellyfish, so they easily mistake plastic for food.

This causes terrible trouble for the dolphins.

However, a team of six good people are available to help them.

With a shared love of the sea, the six-member SaSa team has built up a network of marine species rescue centres from Đà Nẵng to Quảng Ngãi to protect endangered ocean creatures like turtles, dolphins, sharks and whales. Hoài Nam reports.

It took two days for Lê Chiến, 34, and his colleagues from the SaSa rescue team to attempt to rescue a sick green turtle, but the endangered creature could not be saved as it had ingested too much plastic waste.

The team was so sad to see the turtle passing away in vain, even after 20 pieces of plastic, including fishing net, styrofoam and bags were removed from its body.

This was the tenth green turtle that the SaSa team has attempted to rescue since it was set up to protect marine species in central Việt Nam.

The six-member team has built up a network of marine species rescue from Đà Nẵng to Quảng Ngãi in order to protect endangered ocean creatures like turtles, dolphins, sharks and whales.

The team had also helped save eight dolphins that were caught in a shoal in the central coastal beaches, and a dolphin was then named for the rescue team.

“The dolphin we first rescued on a beach in Đà Nẵng was intelligent. The small dolphin, which had been attacked by a shark and lost its family, had serious injuries on its back and tail,” Chiến recalled.

He said the team took care of the dolphin for two weeks, but it eventually could not recover from its wounds.

Chiến, who worked for OneOcean on independent research of coral reefs in Đà Nẵng, said dolphins often live in groups, or pods, and some strayed when the pod is either attacked by sharks or they become ill.

He remembered the most successful rescue of a dolphin, which was named Moon.

“We successfully rescued the dolphin and released it back to the ocean. We also swam with it before saying goodbye.”

The team said many dolphins get lost when they are in danger or stressed, and that’s why they end up getting stranded on beaches.

Ocean love

Born in Hà Nội, Chiến fell in love with the ocean and marine research. His work on coral reefs off the coast kept him in the central city.

Chiến said the team was built from six members who share a love of the ocean and marine species as well as cleaning up the coastal environment.

“Plastic waste has damaged the ocean. It is a major reason resulting in the death of various turtles that we have rescued. Turtles eat plastic on coral reefs which are covered in moss,” Chiến said.

The 34-year-old said plastic bags looked like jellyfish – a favourite food of turtles – and that explained why plastic waste often killed the creatures.

Huỳnh Tấn Trung, 30, from coastal Thanh Khê District, said each member of the SaSa team shared experience and skills in helping with voluntary rescue activities.

He said the team had to cover rescue costs themselves.

“We voluntarily reserve time and money for rescue activities. We did that out of our love of the sea,” Trung said.

The Đà Nẵng-born environmentalist makes his living from home decoration and odd jobs, while setting aside time whenever sea creatures are in danger.

“All members of the team share time to help with urgent rescues and campaigns to raise awareness about protecting the coastal environment,”

Rescue

The SaSa team doesn’t yet have enough funds to build a rescue centre – where they could have full facilities and equipment for their activities.

Chiến, the team leader, said they had to shoulder the cost of the stretchers and facilities for saving stranded dolphins and turtles.

The Hanoian said the wounded green turtle, named Chi, was a special case that the team took to a private hospital for hi-tech X-Ray and endoscopy.

“Medical treatment for Chi was the first case in Việt Nam when a turtle needed support from skilled doctors and facilities. It’s also the first case that doctors used X-Ray technology to identify a digestive obstruction,” the SaSa team leader recalled.

Doctors from Đà Nẵng-based private Family Hospital spent three hours removing 20 pieces of plastic, plastic bags and styrofoam pieces that got stuck in Chi’s intestine, but Chi was too weak for the next endoscopy and died two days later, according to Chiến.

He said Chi could not swim or eat anything because the plastic waste blocked food from getting in.

Chiến said the plastic waste off the coast of Đà Nẵng could kill green turtles and fish living in coral reefs and his SaSa team spent one month cleaning out fishing nets and plastic bags off Sơn Trà coast.

The team plans to clean a 400km stretch of coast from Đà Nẵng to Bình Định as part of a voluntary campaign to keep the central beach free from garbage.

Chiến said the team has also opened a café in Sơn Trà peninsula to raise money for its vital work.

He said the team needed support in building a sea rescue centre on the beach in Đà Nẵng to respond to emergencies.

Diving equipment and a pool are needed for dolphin and turtle rescues as well as medical treatment and rescue skills education for prolonged operation of the SaSa team, Chiến said. — VNS


 

GLOSSARY

It took two days for Lê Chiến, 34, and his colleagues from the SaSa rescue team to attempt to rescue a sick green turtle, but the endangered creature could not be saved as it had ingested too much plastic waste.

If a creature is endangered, there are not many of its kind left and they are in danger of dying out and becoming extinct.

Ingested means taken into the body by eating and then swallowing.

The team was so sad to see the turtle passing away in vain, even after 20 pieces of plastic, including fishing net, styrofoam and bags were removed from its body.

Passing away means dying.

In vain means unnecessarily and for no good reason.

This was the tenth green turtle that the SaSa team has attempted to rescue since it was set up to protect marine species in central Việt Nam.

A species of animal is a type of animal. Marine means to do with the ocean. A marine species is therefore a type of creature that lives in the ocean.

The team had also helped save eight dolphins that were caught in a shoal in the central coastal beaches, and a dolphin was then named for the rescue team.

A shoal is a number of fish swimming together.

“The dolphin we first rescued on a beach in Đà Nẵng was intelligent.

Intelligent means clever.

Chiến, who worked for OneOcean on independent research of coral reefs in Đà Nẵng, said dolphins often live in groups, or pods, and some strayed when the pod is either attacked by sharks or they become ill.

Coral reefs are natural sea walls made of live creatures called coral that grow on top of dead coral. The walls, called reefs, can be as hard as rock.

To become strayed means to end up wandering away from home, or in this case from the other dolphins in the family.

Born in Hà Nội, Chiến fell in love with the ocean and marine research.

Research means finding out about things. In this case it is to do with living things in the ocean.

“Turtles eat plastic on coral reefs which are covered in moss,” Chiến said.

Moss is a type of plant that grows in shady, damp places and can look like a soft, green carpet.

Huỳnh Tấn Trung, 30, from coastal Thanh Khê District, said each member of the SaSa team shared experience and skills in helping with voluntary rescue activities.

To perform voluntary activities means to do things without asking to be paid.

He said the team had to cover rescue costs themselves.

To cover costs means to make enough money to be able to pay for something. In this case it would be to pay for the rescue activities.

Chiến, the team leader, said they had to shoulder the cost of the stretchers and facilities for saving stranded dolphins and turtles.

Stretchers are beds that can be carried around easily and are often used to help injured animals or people when they are rescued and taken to hospital.

The Hanoian said the wounded green turtle, named Chi, was a special case that the team took to a private hospital for hi-tech X-Ray and endoscopy.

An endoscopy is a medical procedure that involves a device being put into the body so that a medic can look around the inside of the body.

“It’s also the first case that doctors used X-Ray technology to identify a digestive obstruction,” the SaSa team leader recalled.

A digestive obstruction is something that gets in the way of making it possible for food to be digested, which means taken into the various parts of the body through the stomach.

Doctors from Đà Nẵng-based private Family Hospital spent three hours removing 20 pieces of plastic, plastic bags and styrofoam pieces that got stuck in Chi’s intestine, but Chi was too weak for the next endoscopy and died two days later, according to Chiến.

The intestine is part of the stomach.

Chiến said the team has also opened a café in Sơn Trà peninsula to raise money for its vital work.

Vital means important.

Diving equipment and a pool are needed for dolphin and turtle rescues as well as medical treatment and rescue skills education for prolonged operation of the SaSa team, Chiến said.

Prolonged means carrying on and on.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. A group of dolphins is known as a pod of dolphins.
  2. Dolphins never get lost from their groups.
  3. Plastics can kill dolphins when they eat them.
  4. Sơn Trà is on a piece of land called a peninsula.
  5. Đà Nẵng is too far inland to have any beaches.

 

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. True; 2. False; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

 

 

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