The meme has since captured the endangered lives of sea turtles, beginning with a sea-filled race to spend the rest of their lives in a sea plagued by human waste. On World Sea Turtle Day, the sea turtles not only enrich our oceans (and meme content), but also shed light on the battles they face – many of which we can do something about. The story of an unfortunate female tortoise named “Thunderbird” proves just how difficult it is to survive in the modern sea. Thunderbird was first selected in July 2020 by the Save the Made Foundation, which is involved in ghost fishing gear in the Mediterranean.
Ghost fishing gear is a phrase used to describe ropes or nets thrown from the fishing industry and is considered by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to be the deadliest form of marine plastic (this person spends his days freeing his whales) material). Dr David March of the University of Exeter and Barcelona explained that Thunderbird was arrested, treated and tagged after being rescued before being released in August of the same year. The tracking device means March and colleagues were able to track the Thunderbird epic 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) through the waters of the Western Mediterranean and West Africa.
For a short time, Thunderbird’s signals became erratic as it passed through the Albaran Sea. It was an exciting time for its progress observers, as there are strong currents of challenging water here and a high concentration of marine traffic which increases the risk of collisions. Thunderbird appears to have come out of the Mediterranean along the coast of West Africa via Gibraltar Street in November 2020 and took over the current.
Satellite data throughout Thunderbird’s voyage revealed that while he spent most of his time on the Mediterranean surface, he was in favor of making regular dives on the seabed off the coast of West Africa. Unfortunately, it was at this point that Thunderbird’s fortunes took a turn for the worse. “In February of this year, when we stopped receiving regular updates from the tag, the turtles were out of Senegal,” said Dr. March said. “Then on March 1, the final signal was on the ground near the main port of Dakar.”