Visakhapatnam, Mar 12 (): Police officials, local NGOs and forest department on Sunday morning released a fresh batch of Olive Ridley turtle’s hatchlings at the RK Beach into the Bay of Bengal.
Totally, 680 Olive Ridley turtles were released into the sea by principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden AV Joseph and additional director general of CID T Krishna Prasad.
Olive Ridley turtles are listed as endangered species that land on Indian shores between November and March to breed. These endangered species face serious fears from tourist centres, the development of nesting beaches into ports and unfriendly fishing practices.
The environmentalists are questioning whether the conservation of the species is being handled in a manner that will boost their population. The hatchlings survived for nearly two-month stay at the nests on the beach but would now have to wade through the wild waters of the Bay of Bengal and face the risk of predators waiting under or above the water.
The most severe threat is the accidental killing of adult turtles by entanglement in trawlers’ nets and gill nets, the result of uncontrolled fishing from June to December during their mating season.
AV Joseph said that they would discuss about the issue of threats to the turtles’ existence from pollution with the AP Pollution Control Board authorities.
Additionally D.G. Krishna Prasad said that he would donate his one month salary in support of conservation measures. The members of the Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals have also participated in the conservative measures.
Beaches along the coast of Visakhapatnam such as Jodugullapalem, RK Beach, Bheemili and Rushikonda are massive nesting grounds for the turtles. The sea turtles travel thousands of miles from the coast of Mexico to Visakhapatnam, facing storms and threats including attacks by snakes, sharks birds and crabs, to breed and nest in the port city.
In natural conditions, the incubation period is between 45-51 days and in poor weather conditions it may go up to 70 days.