Environmentalists were extremely worried by the news of Olive Ridley turtles being frequently washed away from the shores of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha over the last few years. These endangered species are often seen dead on the coast of AP and Odisha after being trapped in illegal fishing boats, nets etc. This had raised an alarm among the environmentalists about the survival of these species in the future years but things are on the verge to change.
An official statement released on Monday said that these turtles laid a record breaking number of 3.55 lakh eggs. This news have spread smiles among the conservationists as it brings the joy of saving these reptiles from the verge of extinction. “Over 3,55,000 eggs have been laid by Olive Ridley sea turtles within a week of mass nesting in the Rushikulya river mouth of Ganjam coast, making an all-time record. The turtles had laid 3,09,000 eggs last year”, said Ashish Kumar Behera, the Divisional Forest Officer of Berhampur, Odisha.
He added,” We are still calculating and the number may go up to 4 lakh as the process of laying eggs that began on February 13 ended on February 20. The Forest Department has now put in place high security to ensure that the turtles can safely hatch their eggs.We have already made all arrangements, including establishing observation camps. The coasts have been fenced with nets and have started thorough patrolling in the sea for the protection of the turtles and their eggs during the mass nesting”.
The department has also stationed security personnel in speedboats to ensure that the coast is guarded to prevent the entry of illegal trawlers as saving these endangered species is the top most priority of the moment.