The Maharashtra state Forest department's Mangrove Foundation has rescued as many as 42 sea turtles from beaches along the Konkan coast in a month's time. Amid the continuous moderate to heavy rainfall in the west coast of the state, an increasing number of sea turtles have washed ashore, reported The Indian Express.
Out of the 42 sea turtles rescued, while 37 were Olive Ridley turtles, there were three Hawksbill and two Green Sea turtles. One Green sea turtle - an endangered species - was released back into the sea. Meanwhile, five of the 37 Olive Ridley Turtles that were rescued died during the treatment.
"During monsoon, because of change in sea currents and high tides, turtles that are either injured or too weak to swim get washed ashore. Many turtles, especially those rescued from Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, were found entangled in ghost nets (nets that are discarded and left by fishermen in the sea)," Harshal Karve, marine biologist with Mangrove Foundation, told the media.
Most of the turtles were rescued from Palghar district, with many missing their flappers or had injured flappers. The injured or stranded sea turtles are treated and rehabilitated at the Sea Turtle Treatment and Transit Centre at Dahanu in Palghar.
Set up under the state Forest department in 2015, the Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity conservation foundation work towards conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity, along with improving the lives of coastal communities. It's marine respondent groups are present in coastal districts of Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Ratnagiri.
The marine respondents, who are mostly local fishermen, alert and assist the department in the rescue of marine animals. The Mangrove Cell and the state Fisheries department have set up a joint compensation scheme for the fishermen. Under this, those who release protected marine animals entangled in their fishing nets are given monetary compensation up to Rs 25,000.