Sea Turtle Protection
This report is written in order to educate the reader about the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle, a species of marine life that conducts its unique and famous nesting ritual on Vizag's shores; and the efforts in place by the Visakha Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) to protect it. All data is collected, maintained and interpreted by the VSPCA.
Over the last few years, rapid development along the Vizag coast and increasing pollution levels in our city have been causing severe deterioration of our environment, making it utterly difficult for sea turtles to nest here. There have been cases of mother turtles being unable to find a proper place to lay their eggs on account of horrifically dirty conditions in our polluted beach, and so they lay eggs in the water itself, with no hope for eggs to survive. It is tragic because this constrains our efforts to conserve this highly endangered marine creature that has been around in our planet from the time of the dinosaurs. The mighty dinosaurs had become extinct, their kind unable to survive the earth, whereas these humble creatures of the sea continued, until today.
According to the Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) of the IUCN, there has been a 50% reduction in population size since the 1960s. Although some nesting populations have increased in the past few years, the overall reduction is greater than the overall increase. Expansion of the shrimp trawling fishery in the eastern Indian Ocean in the mid-1970s has resulted in numerous olive ridley deaths. Over 10,000 olive ridley carcasses a year have been counted on the Orissa coast since 1999. These carcasses have largely been attributed to the shrimp trawl fishery, but trawling is not the only source of olive ridley mortality in the eastern Indian Ocean.