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Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Olive ridleys begin nesting along coast
Correspondent :
CHENNAI: The nesting seasonfor olive ridley turtles has begun along the city coastline, with three nests spotted along the beach in Besant Nagar a week ago.

The forest department had set up a hatchery in Besant Nagar that would be managed with support from student volunteers of the Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN), Chennai Wildlife Warden K Geethanjalitold TOI. Another hatchery will be started in Kovalam in the next couple of days, she said.

Akila Balu, an SSTN volunteer, said forest department staff and volunteers from her organisation had begun patrolling the coast and spotted at least nine dead turtles along the Marina and three in Besant Nagar. Distribution and use of turtle-excluding devices (TEDs) a specialised gadget that allows a turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman's net and ensuring that the five nautical mile ban for mechanised boats is strictly enforced till the egg-laying season is over are the key to reducing olive ridley deaths, Balu said.

Shravan Krishnan, another SSTCN volunteer, said this was the 30th year since the organisation had begun work in the field of olive ridley conservation and the number of dead turtles washing up along the city coast was among the highest last season. In 2015-16, officials said, the forest department had procured 232 TEDs and distributed them to fishermen in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts.

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