Kendrapara, Nov 23 (LocalWire): Thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtle mating pairs have been spottted near Ekakula and Habalikhati in Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, officials said on Friday.
The mating season of the Olive Ridley turtles has just started and is expected to continue till December fourth week, official sources said.
Female Olive Ridleys lays around 100 eggs at one time. The eggs hatch after 50-60 days.
Olive Ridleys gather together for nesting on the Odisha coast between February and May.
Gahirmatha is the largest breeding place of Olive Ridley turtles, a species protected by Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
During the breeding season thousands of male and female turtles migrate to coastal breeding grounds and mating occurs offshore.
The Indian Coast Guard unit stationed at Paradip has launched ‘Operation Olivia’ from November 1 to protect the turtles.
The Indian Coast Guard has deployed a ship and aircraft to stop fishing trawlers from entering the sanctuary.
Forest officials have set up two offshore camps at Babubali and Agarnasi.
Fourteen onshore camps have also been set up from Dhamara to Devi Mouth to prevent trawlers from entering the sanctuary.