TRICHY: The unscrupulous and unchecked fishing activities during the breeding season of the Olive Ridley turtles are posing a threat to the lives of the endangered species. Even after the conservation measures, the survival rate of the endangered turtle species is very less, according to officials from the forest department.
Among 8,000-9,000 hatchlings that make their way into the ocean, only a few in single digits will survive. “During the turtle breeding season, five nautical miles from the coast is a ‘no-fishing zone’. But a large number of fishermen don’t follow the restrictions. Besides this, turtle excluder device (TED) which help turtles come out of the fishing net, is not installed in many trawlers as they fear that their catch would be affected,” said wild life warden Naga Sathish Gidijala. “Strict implementation of TEDs, which has been made mandatory by fisheries department, will bring about a huge reduction in adult sea turtle mortality,” said conservation scientist A Kumaraguru from the Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (BCF).
“Trawling in all the designated ‘no-fishing zones’ must be stopped,” he said. “Casuarina plantations along the beach could act as a buffer for storms. Planned plantations can also be effective in screening and reducing the impact of artificial lights, said T Brinda one of the founder director of BCF.