Ganjam: The spawning process of the rare Olive Ridley turtle has started in Rushikulya estuary. Forest Department is fully prepared as the first phase of this process begins with deep-sea turtle mating. Special arrangements have been made by the Forest Department for the safe egg laying process of the turtles. In particular, a no fishing zone has been declared for about 20 km from the mouth of Rushikulya.
As per the guidelines by the Forest Officials, Fishermen cannot catch fish using mechanized and machine-operated boats in this no-fishing zone. The crackdown will last until the end of next May. Fishermen will also be provided with meaningful assistance by the Fisheries Department. Environmentalists are optimistic about the record number of polls this year as well as last year.
In the preliminary stage, mating of turtles has started from the beginning of this month. After mating, the turtles will come to Rushikulya estuary in lakhs of numbers. After a few months, the turtle hatches from the egg and goes to the sea. After receiving information about the start of mating process of turtles, security measures have been tightened by the forest department. Security has been increased in Rushikulya beach from Chhatrapur block Aryapalli to Ganjam block Prayagi. Along with this, the forest department has also started patrolling in the sea. A special team has been formed by the forest department to monitor the mating of turtles.
Not only the forest department but also local fishermen and various voluntary organizations are working for the protection of the rare olive ridley turtle. Similarly, Eco Club has been working for the protection of the Olive Ridley turtle for many years. Before the arrival of the turtles, the Rushikulya estuary is being regularly cleaned by the Eco Club. Along with this, the local fishermen are also being warned about the safety of turtles.
According to Eco Club coordinator Shankar Narayan Bej, Last year, a record number of 5 lakh 50 thousand turtles came to Rushikulya estuary and cast their eggs. But due to storm Asani in April this year, thousands of turtle eggs were destroyed due to sea turbulence.
According to the data by Forest Officials, between 2011 and 2021, 4 lakh 28 thousand turtles laid eggs in 2017-18. Later, in 2021-22, more than 5 lakh 50 thousand turtles laid their eggs in the mouth of Rushikulya. Similarly, everyone is hopeful that once again this year too, breaking all the records, a large number of turtles will come and spawn in the mouth of Rushikulya.
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