Trawlers turn killers

 
Published: Thursday 31 January 2002

rampant unregulated fishing has caused the death of many endangered sea turtles in recent days. More than a thousand Olive Ridley turtles were killed while approaching the coast of Orissa to lay eggs in the sand. These turtles were either suffocated after getting trapped in fishing nets or were slashed to death by the propeller blades of fishing trawlers.

The Wildlife Society of Orissa estimates that more than 1,300 turtles have been killed in the past few weeks and officials say many more could die over the next few months. Widespread trawler fishing along the Orissa coast could push the already endangered Olive Ridley turtles to extinction, averconservationists.

"It could be catastrophic for Olive Ridleys since they are already endangered," says Bibhash Pandav, a turtle researcher with the Wildlife Institute of India. Poachers kill the turtles for their meat and take their eggs which sell in the market openly.

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