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Hundreds of Olive Ridley turtles arrive for mating off Odisha coast

Olive Ridley Turtles have arrived at the Gahirmata Marine Sanctuary in Odisha (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@PIBMumbai)

There is heartening news for the wildlife enthusiasts of India especially those in Odisha as Olive Ridley turtles, an endangered species, have started arriving in large numbers for mating at the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapara district of the State.

Sharing this information with the media, Manas Das, the Range Officer of the sanctuary said that turtles in hundreds are mating on the seawater surface. These reptiles generally start mating in the sea close to their preferred nesting coast in the months of November and December. Following the end of the mating while the males leave, the females stay back to lay eggs.

The female turtles arrive at the beach late in the night to lay eggs. After a period of 45 to 60 days, the hatchlings emerge from the eggs, and they find their way to the sea.

Keeping this in view the authorities have already initiated steps to protect these turtles. Fishing has been banned in the sanctuary from November 1 to May 31, 2023. The fishing restriction includes the stretch of the sea up to a distance of 20 kilometres from the Gahirmatha rookery coastline.

So far four boats and 25 fishermen have been arrested for violating this ban.

Gahirmatha is the world’s largest nesting beach for Olive Ridley Turtles and it extends from the mouth of Dhamra river in the north to Brahmani river mouth in the south.