The experimental protocol was tested from June 2018 to October 2018, thanks to Sea turtles collected in an rescue center.
The problem of plastic debris is well-known and affects sea turtles. Micro and macro plastic debris are commonly found in their digestive tracts, and sea turtle can be use as bio-indicator of marine pollution. However, we need more information on the feeding behavior, especially the intentional vs accidental ingestion of plastic. These experiments aim answering this question.
So, at the rescue centre CESTMed (Study and Care Center for mediterranean sea Turtles), located in Le-Grau-du-Roi (close to Montpellier, France) Marie Sabatte, Claude Miaud and Delphine Gambaiani, (researcher of EPHE, partner of MEDSEALITTER( performed choice experiments using the lure technique. Two targets are presented in the middle of a tank during 20 minutes (with continuous sampling and camera recording). Behavioral analysis were made by ethogram and Interactive Data Language. The choice were several combination such e.g. a natural prey (fish, jellyfish, crab) versus a lure (plastic fish or plastic crab) or a lure versus a plastic leaf. In order to test/improve this protocol and collect more data, this protocol will be shared and disseminated to other rescue centers.
at the following link the complete interview of Marie Sabatte by the french regional newspaper Midi libre
Click on the image below to watch the complete video interview