Beach waste by MatthewWare, USA. From a distance, the beach scene at Alabama’s Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge looked appealing: blue sky, soft sand and a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. But as Matthew and the strandings patrol team got closer they could see the fatal noose around the turtle’sneck attached to the washed-up beach chair. The Kemp’s ridleyis not only one of the smallest sea turtles–just 65 centimetres (2feet) long–it is also the most endangered. Over the past 50 years, human activities–from egg and meat consumption to incidental capture in fishing nets–have greatly reduced its numbers. Today, despite protection of its limited nesting sites along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico and a requirement for trawlers to use turtle-excluders, it is still under threat. But as Matthew witnesses on his daily nesting-patrol, another danger is injury or drowning resulting from the huge amount of discarded fishing gear and rubbish that ends up in the