Three-member expert panel takes stock of turtle conservation

It has to submit a report to Orissa High Court on March 10

Published - March 07, 2021 01:10 am IST - Kendrapara (Odisha)

A three-member panel constituted by the Orissa High Court on Saturday made a field trip to the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary here and assessed the measures taken for the conservation of endangered olive ridley sea turtles, Forest officials said.

The panel, comprising wildlife and environment activist Kartik Shankar, 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 the Forest, Fisheries and other departments besides marine fishermen and other stakeholders.

Deaths reported

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.

Mass nesting

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 world’s largest nesting ground of these turtles.

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