Riddle Of The Olive Ridleys In Odisha

Though mechanised fishing is banned at the congregation zones, every year thousands of turtles are killed due to illegal fishing due to lack of proper patrolling by the Forest Department.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

News Summary

Every year, nearly 300,000 turtles come ashore for nesting in Odisha.

More than 2 lakh sea turtles have been killed on Odisha coast in the last two decades but not a single fisherman or trawler owner has been convicted.

Appeals made by turtle lovers to the Chief Minister to halt this massacre have not yielded any results so far and the killing continues.

Odisha is lucky to be one of three places in the world where sea turtles' mass nesting occurs. “Arribada” is Spanish for “the arrival” of sea turtles for mass nesting and is believed to have been used by first explorers who witnessed this unique phenomenon at California and Costa Rica coast. This behaviour ensures the survival of the species by the swamping mechanism. As the nesting happens at the same time, predators are unable to eat up all the eggs since after eating the eggs for a few days, they leave the nests untouched.

However, not all is well with the sea turtles of Odisha. They are threatened by a variety of natural and man made causes. Unfortunately, man-made threats which have come up in the last three decades are more dangerous for the species since they are irreversible and the species has no mechanism to deal with them.