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Kendrapara: A three-member panel constituted by Orissa High Court Saturday made a field trip to Gahirmatha marine sanctuary here and assessed the measures taken for the conservation of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles, forest officials said.

The panel comprises wildlife and environment activist Kartik Shankar, the director (environment) Sushant Nanda and advocate Mohit Agarwal made an on-the-spot assessment of the conservation measures at Gahirmatha nesting ground, they said.

The experts panel interacted with the officials of forest, fisheries and other departments besides marine fishermen and other stakeholders.

The action followed a February 4 report on an online environment magazine which said 800 Olive Ridley turtles have died since January due to negligence of the states forest and fisheries department.

The court took suo motu cognisance of the report on February 23, constituted the panel and asked it to submit a report on the conservation of sea turtles in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary on March 10.

The Olive Ridley Turtles turn up in millions for mass nesting along the Odisha coast every year. Gahirmatha beach off Bay of Bengal coast in Kendrapara district is acclaimed as the worlds largest nesting ground of these turtles.

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