STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Turtle egg poaching hits conservation bid in Tamil Nadu

It is hell in the making for every environmentalist. Poachers have been targeting eggs laid by olive ridleys, loggerhead, leather back and green turtles, much to the dismay of activists.

Published: 02nd March 2017 04:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2017 04:27 AM   |  A+A-

Turtle eggs in a nest under the watchful eyes of environmental activists | Express

Express News Service

VILLUPURAM: It is hell in the making for every environmentalist. Hundreds of turtle carcasses lie on the shores stretching from Kottakuppam to Marakkanam in the district, with traces of digging to unearth turtle eggs seen on the 16-km coastal stretch.

Poachers have been targeting eggs laid by olive ridleys, loggerhead, leather back and green turtles, much to the dismay of environmental activists, who have voiced concern over the rampant poaching of turtle eggs.

Theses eggs are sold in black markets across the country and the demand has been soaring over the past few years as they are used to cure erectile dysfunction among men.

Traces of digging can be found on shores stretching from Theerthavari to Kaipaanikuppam, Vasavankuppam, Alankuppam Nadukuppam, Kayalmedu and Bommayarpalayam, the activists said, warning about an imminent ecological threat to the aquatic ecosystem.

Speaking to Express, activist Orissa Balu alias S Balasubramanian, who is also a researcher and Tamil writer, said that Villupuram has the least protective measures in place to tackle poachers.

“You can easily buy turtle eggs in many markets across Chennai and they charge Rs 8 per egg and most of these go from the district. It is believed that the egg is capable of curing sexual disorders in men.”

Balu also urged forest officials to take strict action against trawling by fishermen who do not use turtle excluder device (TED). “Forest officials should intensify sea patrolling to save the rare species from the edge of extinction.”

Echoing a similar view, another activist R Sarvesh Kumar, who has been spearheading the campaign to protect turtle nests on the shores of Marakkanam, said: “The threats are many. Use of mechanised trawlers by the fishermen kill pregnant turtles heading to shores for depositing eggs, while illegal shrimp farms directly release untreated wastes into the sea, in turn harming them.

Real estate developers who set up housing plots destroy sand dunes and sea bushes, leaving a great challenge to turtles to find a secure spot for laying eggs.”

A recent survey revealed that hundreds of turtles were killed by the release of industrial wastes into the sea, and thousands of nests were poached every year. It is alleged that many north Indian workers at the nearby shrimp farms as well as local fishermen rake in bucks by helping poachers to discover nests.

“Apart from intensifying patrolling on the shores, the authorities should classify turtle nesting spots as secured zones,” Kumar said.

District Forest Officer S Anandh acknowledged the challenge thrown by the poachers.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp