Indian Coast Guard have enforced laws and started operation Olivia to protect Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha

Operation Olivia

It was started by the Indian Coast Guard, 1st in early 1980s. The operation helps in protecting Olive Ridley turtles yearly when they start nesting along Odisha coast for breeding in months of November to December. Under it, round-the-clock surveillance is conducted from November till May through Coast Guard assets like Fast patrol vessels, Interceptor craft, Air cushion vessels and Dornier aircraft.

Current situation

In between November 2020 to May 2021, Indian Coast Guard has devoted 225 ship days and 388 aircraft hours. They have protected 3.49 lakh turtles.

Who enforces these laws?

These laws and operation are enforced by the Indian Coast Guard which gets power under Orissa Marine Fisheries Act, 1982. Efforts are made at various levels such as:

  1. The Enforcement of use of Turtle Excluder Devices by trawlers in waters surrounding nesting areas.
  2. Prohibition of using gill nets as turtle approaches to the shore to curtail turtle poaching.

Olive Ridley

They are listed as vulnerable under IUCN Red List. The Sea turtles found in India have been included in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. They are also listed in Appendix I of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Their mass nesting is called as arribada. Gahirmatha, Astaranga coast, mouth of Devi river and Rushikulya are four arribadas sites off the Odisha Coast in India. Apart from that, Hope Island of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh is also preferred for mass nesting.