Jakarta – A total of 25 dead turtles found in the waters of Sepang Bay in Bengkulu, with the latest discovered on Friday, may possibly have been killed by rising sea temperatures, an expert has said.
A marine science lecturer from Bengkulu University, Dewi Purnama, said marine biota live in an environment with temperatures ranging from 28 and 30 degrees Celsius.
"The temperature in the waters of Bengkulu has risen to between 27 and 31 degrees Celsius. Naturally, an increase of just one degree is still considered high," she said recently, Antara news agency reported.
"I don't have the capability to declare whether the cause of death of the turtles in Sepang Bay has anything to do with power plant's liquid waste disposal that might affect the sea temperature without further examination," she added.
The plant she referred to is the Teluk Sepang coal-fired power plant.
Each marine animal or plant needs a certain temperature for living and has various tolerance rates for maximum and minimum temperatures, she said.
When the temperature of their environment rises drastically, physiological disruptions occur. Marine biota that cannot adapt to the changes may die.
The Kanopi Bengkulu ecology protection foundation has recorded that 25 protected sea turtles have been found dead in the area over the past three months.
Kanopi Bengkulu head Ali Akbar said he suspected the turtles died because of the rising seawater temperatures surrounding an outlet for liquid waste disposal.
"Because the majority of dead turtles were found near the sewer," he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
A laboratory report done by the Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservation Agency had not been released even though the examination was done more than one month ago, he said. (sau)