Kendrapara, Nov 20 (LocalWire): Large numbers of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have started arriving in the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary for mating.
“The Olive Ridley sea turtles usually start their mating in the sea near their preferred nesting coast in November, said Debashis Bhoi, the forest range officer of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
After the end of the mating season, most male turtles return to the sea, leaving behind the females to lay eggs.
Fishing has been banned from 1st November to 31st May in the marine sanctuary where these turtles are congregating.
This includes the stretch of sea up to twenty kilometers from the coastline of Gahirmatha rookery.
“We have already arrested 20 fishermen and seized four boats on the charges of illegally fishing in the marine sanctuary,” added the forest officer.
Hatchlings would emerge from the eggs after 45-60 days and find their way to the sea creating a cacophony.
It is one of the rare situations in which the babies grow without their mother, added the forest officer.
Each winter the magnificent Olive Ridley sea turtles start their long journey to Gahirmatha sea water to lay eggs.
The turtles repeat the trek every year, always to return to the same beach in order to lay their eggs and reproduce where they were born.
The protected Gahiramatha beach is the world’s largest nesting site for the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea).
Olive Ridleys are known for their huge arribadas, or egg-laying episodes, where half a million turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, added the forest officer.