Green sea turtle nesting delayed due to typhoons

Turtle nesting grounds on Orchid Island dubbed the 'international trash can'

The eight green sea turtle spotted nesting this year.

The eight green sea turtle spotted nesting this year. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Green sea turtles are hurrying to the shores of Orchid Island to lay their eggs after two back-to-back typhoons slightly delayed their nesting.

The eighth green sea turtle of the year was spotted nesting along the banks of Orchid Island this morning. Observers stated that they quietly rooted for the nesting mother, who moved 4 meters in 40 minutes searching for the perfect nesting spot.

Taiwanese beaches have taken much flack in recent years for their polluted shores, particularly as they may interrupt the life cycles of the native green sea turtles.

Orchid Island in particular has been nicknamed "the international trash can" for its heavily polluted beaches. According the one Orchid Island local, Maraos, after typhoons or other large storms pass by, trash from China, the Philippines, and Taiwan consistently converges on the island's shores.

One concerned conservationist, Peng Kuan-chieh (彭冠傑), noticed a similar problem in Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球) this year and began to make and sell polymer clay models of green sea turtles to spread awareness and raise money for conservation efforts.

Orchid Island locals and researchers are on high alert for incoming green sea turtles, quickly trying to rid the beach of trash before new nests are made.