The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a video of a sea turtle cruising about the Great Barrier Reef in Australia on its Facebook page in hopes of raising awareness about the reef’s decline and understand recent turtle strandings.
To put together the short video, WWF researchers strapped a GoPro camera to a sea turtle’s back and sent on its way through the Great Barrier Reef. The researchers followed the animal and retrieved the camera shortly after the turtle knocked it off its back.
The organization is campaigning to raise awareness of the declining condition of the Great Barrier Reef, home to over 6,000 animal species. According to USA Today, the reef is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, but the organization failed to add it to its “in danger” list on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, it expressed grave concern for the reef’s poor outlook and set a schedule for Australia to implement new protections, including a ban on dumping dredging material in the Great Barrier Reef’s area.
The WWF celebrated the UNESCO decision as a victory for the reef and its future. Australia will now have until 2016 to show it has a comprehensive protection plan, and until 2019 to stop the giant coral reef’s gradual decline. Any failure to comply will lead to a new addition to the “in danger” list in 2020.
That may be good news for the Great Barrier Reef, but some sea turtles are “in danger” right now.
Part of the WWF’s plan with the camera was to try and understand why hundreds of sea turtles have been washing up on the shore near the Great Barrier Reef either dying or dead.
WWF spokesman Charlie Stevens explained, “We’re keen to find out what might be causing these strandings and whether it’s from poor water quality and pollution and if so, what the contaminants might be that are affecting turtle health.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, all seven species of sea turtle are either endangered or threatened, despite being on the planet for more than 100 million years.
Another GoPro video showed divers off the coast of Mexico rescuing one of the animals from a jumble of debris and garbage. The turtle even seemed to thank the diver who came to the rescue.
Both the sea turtles and the Great Barrier Reef share a number of dangers from ocean pollution to climate change and ocean acidification — which may destroy some of the beauty shown in the video above.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]