Nellore, Chennai and Nagapattinam coastal belts have witnessed steep decline in the number of olive ridley turtle nesting due to increased fishing and trawler activities.
Recent studies by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have shown that the number of turtle nestings has gone down in Chennai, Mamallapuram-Pudhucherry and Nagapattinam coast by more than 60 per cent. Earlier studies from 70’s recorded at least 100 nests per km, now the number has declined to just about 10 to 12 nests along the Chennai coastline.
Mechanised trawler boats are not allowed to operate within 8 km of the shore in Andhra Pradesh, 5.5 km in Tamil Nadu and 5 km in Odisha as per the respective state regulations. However, these limits are blatantly ignored adversely affecting the turtles.
Concerned over the alarming decline of Olive Ridley turtles along the Nellore coast, Andhra Pradesh’s principal chief conservator of forests Mr A.V. Joseph had recently requested the Coast Guard services to join the turtle conservation programme.