When we were travelling around the province of Romblon I was happy to see a hermit crab as big as my fist, but after walking 3 meters away from it I saw another one but this time it was housed inside a small blue plastic bottle.
It was alarming to see such a humble creature taking shelter on litter.
I have heard a lot of environmentalists say that you should not pick up shells and bring them home as souvenir because it disturbs the ecosystem. What they said did not appeal to me because it was too vague. There were no concrete examples on what may happen if I pick up a shell or not. Unfortunately, Mother Nature showed me a real, concrete and specific example of what will happen.
There are 3 things that are wrong with the above photo.
1. Plastic Shell
The hermit crab sheltered on a small plastic bottle because people (tourist or not) were picking up shells to the point of near depletion making the hermit crab look for an alternative shelter. Due to irresponsible people who throw their garbage everywhere, plastic bottles, glass jars and even deodorant caps were used as the hermit crab’s shelter.