Finally, a rescue effort is underway. Fifteen countries have signed an agreement for conserving the six marine turtle species that inhabit the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian regions. The project includes Olive Ridley turtles, which are killed in large numbers every year off the coast of Orissa.
The first meeting of the signatory states to the 'Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia' was held in Bangkok, Thailand from January 22 to January 24, 2003.
India participated in the meeting as an observer state and hopes to join the others as soon as the internal procedures for signing the MoU are completed. The memorandum was finalised in Manila, the Philippines, in June 2001. It aims to put a framework in place for countries of the region and other concerned states to work together to protect and replenish the depleted marine turtle populations through a comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.
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