WWF-India Hyderabad in partnership with the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department (APFD) and the Andhra Pradesh Fisheries Department organised a half-day long consultation workshop on sea turtle conservation on the AP coast in Visakhapatnam. It is reported that there is an increased nesting of about 5-10% of Olive Ridley Turtles along the AP coast.
The meeting was attended by Dr Lakshman Rao, Asst Director, AP Fisheries Department, Vizag; Dr Raghu Prakash, Scientist, CIFT; Mr Vinod M, Sr Coordinator, Marine Programme, WWF-India, Mr B Vijayakumar, IFS, Curator, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park and members of AP Mechanized Boat Owners Association and Visakhapatnam Dolphin Boat Owners Association. Ms Farida Tampal, State Director, WWF-India, Hyderabad Office welcomed the gathering and gave an overview of the WWF-India activities and the work carried out on marine turtles on the AP coast.
Dr Lakshman Rao, AD talked about the need to conserve sea turtles and its importance for fishery and the marine ecosystem. He talked about constraints faced by the department in implementation of the use of TEDs amongst the Boat owners.
Dr Raghu Prakash gave an overview of the fishing technology interventions for sea turtle conservation, especially CIFT TED and other by-catch reduction devices for conservation of marine resources. He mentioned that people without proper scientific knowledge on TEDs and other fishery technology have been misleading the fisher community and stressed the need for collaborative approach with CIFT.
Mr B Vijaya Kumar stressed the need for strengthening the linkages between the various enforcement agencies and proactive participation from the stakeholders.
Mr Vinod M mentioned about the TED trial runs done in Orissa in collaboration with the trawl operators in Dhamra. He also mentioned about the benefits viz., reducing drag of nets thereby reducing fuel consumption.
Ms Ayushi Kurian gave a presentation on the perspective study taken up with trawl operators and owners, and enforcement agencies.
The Boat operators and owners explained that turtle by-catch was unintentional and needed better awareness and trial run on use of TEDs.
The WWF-India Marine Turtle Conservation programme has been supported by the Smart Chip Foundation through its CSR programme in the states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
Mr Suresh Rayudu Chitturi, Board Member of WWF-India Hyderabad Office Advisory Board and VC & MD of S H Group, a poultry based Indian conglomerate, has been extending support to the WWF-India Hyderabad Office’s Marine Turtle work on the AP coast along with Mr R V S Raju, President, RHI; Mr T S Varma, Executive Director, Clove Technologies; Mr Dharmendra Varda of Novus and other like-minded individual supporters.
Date of workshop: June 7, 2017
Venue: CMFRI, Near Aqua Sports, Beach Road, Visakhapatnam