Chennai, Jan 24 (BPNS)
Nature lovers and conservationists are worried as the arrival of Olive Ridley Turtles during the breeding season have come down. Otherwise, the arrival of this endangered species is yet to pick momentum during the breeding season.
In the areas between Basant nagar and Neelankari in Chennai, around a dozen nests of Olive Ridley turtles have come up. It is to be noted that the nesting season of the Olive Ridley turtles commenced in the first week of January but the arrival of the turtles in Chennai and adjoining beaches has come down drastically.
Arjun. R, nature lover, and conservationist based out of Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “ The Olive Ridley turtles have to come by this time of the year. The arrival this season is less as the season of their breeding has commenced in January first week itself.”
The Wildlife department officials told BPNS that the department has already set up nests for Olive Ridley Turtles to lay eggs in Besant Nagar, Neelankarai, and Injambakkam.
Perivayaran Swaminathan, an environmentalist who closely watches the Olive Ridley turtles while speaking to BPNS said, “ The breeding season has begun but the arrival is less. However, I think that by February end we can collect the turtle eggs along the coastline.”
He however said that there are a large number of Olive Ridley turtle carcasses washed ashore and said that this is due to the turtles getting entangled in gill nets and trawlers as the flippers of the Olive Ridley turtles get stuck in the gill nets. The turtles after getting struck in the nets try to wriggle out of the gill nets but eventually end up drowning.
Even though there are turtle removal devices from nets but the fishermen don’t use them as that would lead to a large catch of fish getting out from the net.
Conservationists and wildlife experts are planning a major campaign among the fishermen community across the coastal belts of Tamil Nadu on the necessity of conservation and protection of Olive Ridley turtles.
Sunil. K.R., a conservationist while speaking to BPNS said, “We will be conducting a major campaign across the fishermen belt so that they understand the need for protecting these turtles.”