Odisha proposes marine animal stranding protocol

In its proposal, the State Wildlife Wing suggests that how marine species - both dead and live - must be handled.

Published: 26th February 2018 02:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2018 06:18 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as thousands of Olive Ridley turtles nest along Odisha coast, the Wildlife Wing of the State Government has prepared a standard operating procedure (SOP) which aims to deal with marine species stranded along the coastline.The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had asked states to submit their Marine Animal Stranding Protocol basing on which the SOP has been prepared, Chief Wildlife Warden Sandeep Tripathi said.

In its proposal, the State Wildlife Wing has suggested that how marine species - both dead and live - must be handled. While Odisha reports occasional stranding of whales, it has to deal with Olive Ridley turtles during the mating season.Apart from preparing a safe rookery for the marine species, the State Government has to tackle hundreds of turtles which end up dead after being caught up in nets or hit by trawlers despite a ban on fishing during the season.

For the dead marine animals, detailed recommendation of disposal, postmortem and training have been outlined. Since the veterinary surgeons are not likely to be equipped with knowledge about marine species and diseases they might carry, their capacity must be built over through training and specific courses.
For animals washing ashore alive, release protocols have been elaborated. In case of injury, treatment facilities and centres have to be built. “Besides, how does one handle specific marine animals also requires training because there is no such knowledge pool available as of now,” said sources.

The stranding protocol also mentions about role of different enforcement agencies such as police, fisheries department, the need to control public and media while handling stranding incidents.The proposal also includes a central monitoring at Kerala which not only is advanced technically but also has advantages given a coastal State.

Bhubaneswar has also been recommended as a regional centre with monitoring units at Berhampur, Paradip, Balasore and Puri. The Marine Science Department at Berhampur University is also tagged as a research unit in the proposal.

Fresh measures

For dead marine animals, detailed recommendation of disposal, postmortem and training have been outlined
Capacity building of veterinary surgeons through training and specific courses
For animals washing ashore alive, release protocols have been elaborated
The protocol also mentions about role of different enforcement agencies such as police and fisheries department

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