In a rare sighting, the local fishermen of Visakhapatnam spotted the endangered Leatherback Turtle on 25 June 2023 on the coast of Thanthadi Beach. This is of great significance as it marks the reappearance of this turtle species after seven years on the city shores.
The leatherback turtle, known for its distinctive leathery shell, is the largest turtle species and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). These remarkable creatures possess a unique ability to journey across vast distances as they traverse the world’s oceans in search of jellyfish, their primary food source. However, their population has experienced a sharp decline in recent years due to numerous threats, including habitat loss, pollution, entanglement in fishing gear, and illegal trade.
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The previous sighting of the endangered Leatherback Turtle in Visakhapatnam was in 2016 when the sea creature was seen on the Mutyalammapalem Beach coast. These species are predominantly found in the Andaman and Nicobar Island clusters.
The fishermen who spotted it on 25 June instantly released it back into the ocean. In a bid to raise awareness regarding the importance of marine life conservation, the forest department has been taking up several initiatives to enlighten the fisherfolk.
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