Tree Foundation an NGO engaged in conservation of the sea turtle said that more than 100 dead Olive Ridley Turtles were found by them in the shores of Nagapattinam since December 2013. It also said that during the same period carcasses of 21 turtles were washed ashore in Puducherry.
The Fisheries department has also issued directions to the fishing villages directing them to cut their nets to free trapped turtles. The action has been taken to reduce the number of casualties of turtles, who fall a prey of the nets of fishermen. This is the first time that the Forest Department has also started collecting data of the turtles, with which they will analyse and study the locations of nesting sites. The study of the nesting and carcasses of turtles is not available in Puducherry.
The organisation discovered over 100 dead turtles in the last season from Chinnamedu fishing village in Tharangambadi.
About the coastline in Nagapattinam
The Olive Ridley turtles find the 154-km coastline of Nagapattinam as a favourable nesting habitat and that’s why, they reach to the shore from December to March every year.
About the Sea Turtles and Olive Ridley Turtles
Olive Ridley Turtles: The Olive Ridley looks very similar to the Kemp's Ridley, but has a deeper body and slightly up-turned edges to its carapace (shell). These weighs around 45 kilograms and are 70 cm in size and this makes them the smallest of the sea turtles along with Kemp ridleys. The Olive Ridley turtles have a rusty coloured carapace and have a slightly smaller head and shell than the Kemp Ridley turtles. These Olive Ridley turtles generally occur through the Antilles, around the north coast of South America, in West Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australia and Southeast Asia. According to reports the populations of Olive Riddeys have declined in Pakistan, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand, and possibly on the east coast of India, south of Orissa and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Sea Turtles: Sea turtles are reptiles that breathe air and that’s why they need to come up in every 40 to 45 minutes. They are among the most ancient creatures on Earth. At present, only seven species of sea turtles are found in the world and they co-existed at the time of dinosaurs. Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs and head into their shells. Their color varies between yellow, greenish and black depending on the species. It is hard to determine the population of sea turtles as male and female turtles never return to the shore after hatching as they reach the ocean. This makes it hard to keep a track on them. These are generally found in all warm and temperate waters across the world.