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Thread: Over 8000 turtle hatchlings released

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    Default Over 8000 turtle hatchlings released

    Over 8000 turtle hatchlings released
    May 23, 2014, 06.05 am IST

    Chennai: In a rare and massive exercise, the Chennai wildlife team, which collected close to 10,000 Olive Ridley turtle eggs along the Marina coast, has successfully released 8,834 hatchlings in a phased manner. On the eve of World Turtle Day the foresters reviewed the hatching rate and the mortality rate of the young ones that were released into the sea between Neelangarai and Marina beach.

    “After 25 years, more than 10,000 turtle eggs have been collected by the Chennai wildlife staff along the Marina coastline and close to 90 per cent of eggs have hatched and we are hopeful that these endangered species will visit the Chennai coast as adults,” said Velachery ranger S David Raj.

    “The forest department had envisaged a special conservation programme since last year to protect the Olive Ridleys that nest in Chennai. The city is one of the largest nesting grounds for the marine turtles, after the Odisha coast, and we have also intensified programmes for fishermen, advising them to use turtle excluder nets”, said Geethanjali, wildlife warden, Chennai.

    “In Chennai, to mark World Turtle Day, the city-based Sea Turtle Protection Force will release a rescued female Ridley turtle, Pallavi. The turtle had injured her left front flipper when it got entangled in a fishing net,” said marine conservationist Supraja Dhairni of the Tree Foundation.

    Meanwhile, similar drives were conducted in other coastal districts, including Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam districts. “The turtle plays a key role in the marine environment and groups were formed in the coastal villages of Kanyakumari to collect eggs. The team spotted nests and about 950 eggs were collected and hatchlings released near the Rajakamangalam coastal village,” said S. S. Davidson, a naturalist and conservationist.

    In Nagapittanam over 4,400 Olive Ridley turtles, have been let out into the sea over the past three months from a government run hatchery at Kodiakarai in the district, forest ranger Gopinathan said. Kodiakarai and Vedaranyam are areas that attract a large number of Ridleys each year during the December-March nesting season.
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Great job. Unfortunately, the situation is not so good along the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts. Turtle-excluders result in marginal loss of catch, which is why it is hard to get fishers to use them. Small steps in the right direction, with active involvement of local communities are the only way these problems can be solved.

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    Good to hear that the forest department is helping in the hatching process. A lot of eggs are preyed upon by feral dogs. Since the authorities have no control over the population of feral dogs, this initiative of helping in collecting the eggs and allowing it to hatch helps.

    It has been proven to the people that TED (Turtle Excluding device) helps in the turtle to get out of the net and only very few fish loss results due to TED. Unless it is forcibly implemented, the trawler owners will not use it. Strict patrolling to stop the trawllers to only fish in deep sea and not within 5 kms of the coast line needs to be given priority as well.

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