Turtle Journey – a new animated campaign from Greenpeace and the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Aardman – is highlighting the impact of pollution on ocean life while pushing for a new Global Ocean Treaty to protect oceans from overfishing and mining.
The animated short film, which features the voices of The Crown actress Olivia Colman and Dame Helen Mirren, follows a family of turtles as they travel from their grandparents’ home at the bottom of the ocean. However, their route home takes a deadly turn when they are faced with plastic pollution, oil drilling and overfishing.
The film ends as the mother, voiced by Olivia Colman, is killed as a result of human interference on the ocean floor, prompting the message: “Six out of seven sea turtles are threatened with extinction. We need sanctuaries across a third of the world’s oceans to keep turtles and other animals safe.”
This comes with a plea urging viewers to sign Greenpeace’s petition calling for a Global Ocean Treaty.
Actress Olivia Colman said: “Home is the most important thing we have. A safe space for us and our family to live. But we’re taking that away from turtles, whales, penguins and so many other incredible animals. Most of us instinctively love the oceans and care about the amazing marine life that lives there, but far fewer people know how much pressure they are under. If we don’t act now we risk causing irreversible harm to our oceans and losing species for good.”
From plastic pollution to oil spills, turtles and other marine life are faced with this threat on a daily basis. Six out of seven sea turtle species are threatened with extinction. Ocean warming and changing currents are forcing Pacific leatherback turtles to travel almost twice as far to reach new feeding sites in cooler waters after leaving nesting grounds, according to new research by Greenpeace.
Conservationists say the extra energy turtles use to get to the feeding grounds is likely to be slashing the number of eggs laid each season.
Dame Helen Mirren, who provides the voice of the grandmother turtle in Turtle Journey, expressed hope that Turtle Journey makes more people aware of the need to protect the ocean and to “act before it’s too late”. She said: “During my lifetime, I’ve seen nature being destroyed on an unimaginable scale by human activity. I’m saddened that our generation will leave to future generations a damaged planet, which has already lost so much of the biodiversity that makes it special. However, we have a chance to do something now and leave a legacy of properly protected oceans to all the people who come after us. We can’t bring back what we’ve already lost, but we can protect what we still have.”
If you would like to sign the Greenpeace petition, visit the Greenpeace website
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com