We haven’t exactly made life easy for the many marine species we share the planet with. Between the eight million tons of plastic trash we throw into the oceans every year, the land-based pollutants like pesticides and fertilizer we dump into waterways, and the role we play in the steady warming of the world’s waters, we’re not exactly setting these animals up for success. While we might all agree that we love marine animals like turtles and dolphins, it is crucial that we start to recognize the damage that our everyday actions cause them.

In this video, a group of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) come to the rescue of a sea turtle who is entangled in a fishing net. One of the many forms of trash we leave behind in the oceans, fishing nets that have been cut or dropped off of boats, called “ghost nets,” pose a serious threat to marine life. When animals become caught in nets, they lose their ability to surface for air, and well, move at all, so it’s no surprise that most entanglements end with death. To help prevent this from happening, the NOAA conducts ocean surveys to help clear debris and rescue animals. The turtle in this video is one of the lucky benefactors of this awesome program.

We are so pleased to see this turtle swim free, but it is important to remember that we can’t rely on divers to rescue all of the animals who are threatened by our trash – it is up to us to stop it at the source. To learn how you can eliminate plastic from your life to help save marine species, click here.