About the Olive Ridley Turtles:
#GS III #Environmental Conservation
Topic Environmental Conservation
- A new record was achieved for the seashore in Ganjam district of Odisha when 6.37 lakh Olive Ridley sea turtles arrived there this year for mass nesting.
- According to Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer Sunny Khokkar, the arrival of 6.37 lakh turtles between February 23 and March 2, which is regarded as the primary nesting season, is due to the establishment of new beaches for egg-laying close to the Podampetta area.
- The smallest and most prevalent marine turtle in the world is the olive ridley.
- The olive-colored carapace of these turtles indicates that they are carnivores.
- The Arribada mass nesting, in which multiple females assemble to lay their eggs on the same beach, is what sets them apart the most.
- They live in the tropical seas of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.
- The largest sea turtle rookery (colony of breeding animals) is thought to be located in Odisha’s Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.
- Schedule 1 of the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act; Appendix 1 of CITES; IUCN Red List listing as Endangered.
- They are frequently poached to obtain their meat, eggs, shells, and leather for human consumption.
- Polymers, fishing nets, abandoned nets, polythene, and other waste deposited in the ocean by visitors and fishermen are damaging sea turtles’ habitats.
- Trawlers for fishing The rule prohibiting fishing within 20 kilometres of a marine sanctuary is typically broken by the overexploitation of marine resources through the use of trawlers.
- Many of the dead turtles had damage markers that showed they may have been caught in gill nets or trawls.
Actions taken to save Olive Ridley turtles include:
- Starting in the early 1980s, the Indian Coast Guard launched “Operation Olivia,” which aids in safeguarding Olive Ridley turtles each year as they assemble along the coast of Odisha for breeding and nesting from November to December.
- Also, it stops illegal trawling operations.
Using Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) is important because:
- The government of Odisha has made it essential for trawls to utilise Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), a net specifically designed with an exit cover that allows the turtles to escape while saving the catch, in order to reduce the unintended killing of turtles in India.
- To identify endangered Olive Ridley turtles and save the species and its ecosystems, scientists utilise non-corrosive metal tags. They can track the turtles’ movements and identify the locations they usually visit thanks to this.