Webcasting of mass nesting of Sea turtles stressed
STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 5 December
Regulated eco-tourism, web casting the unique mass nesting of Sea Turtles were emphasized by chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra at a review of the progress with regards to conservation of the Olive Ridley sea turtles which nest in lakhs in Odisha.
Mohapatra asked concerned authorities to involve the local communities, community based organizations and NGOs in the conservation and protection activities.
Sea Turtle Protection and Conservation Operation for the mass nesting season has been launched in Odisha from November, 2013.
48 on-shore camps and 6 off shore camps were established at strategic locations to keep a strict vigil. 580 sorties and 580 days of sea patrolling was done by Forest & Environment Department. Besides, 53 joint sorties and 53 days sea patrolling were conduted by Fisheries department. 63 fishing vessels including 33 trawler, 20 gill netter and 10 mechanized boats were seized and 56 cases were sent to court. Hoardings were installed at 16 fishing bases and massive awareness campaign was undertaken in the locality. As a result of these protective measures, the number of mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha coast has increased constantly over the years from 35,000 in the year 2001-02 to 4,65,000 in the year 2005-06 with upward increase to 5,13,000 in the year 2009-10 and 6.94,000 in 2012-13, said official sources at the review meeting held today. It has been decided to strengthen all the protective measures for the coming nesting season of 2013-14. Chief Secretary has also directed to take up aerial surveillance of the movement of the turtles and give advance information so that the coast guards and joint patrolling teams take extra caution to protect them. It has been decided to hold 50 on-shore and 6 off-shore patrolling camps by December,2013. Each camp will be manned by Forest Staff and daily wage workers from the local community.
Babubali, Agarnasi, new Devi Nasi island , Purunabanda and some other identified locations where the camps will be set up. It has also been decided that Sea Turtle Research Center will be established from state funds if Central Ministry of Forest & Environment does not agree to provide fund for the purpose.