Indian Coast Guard (ICG) being a multi mission maritime force is also entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring safety of flora and fauna in the maritime zones of India. Every year ICG conducts ‘Operation Olivia’ for protection of endangered Olive Ridley turtles, which arrive on the beaches of Odisha annually from November and stay till May for nesting.
Coast Guard State Headquarters (Odisha) at Paradip in coordination with State Fisheries and the Forest Department conducted the operations which commenced from 01 November 19 for providing protection to the Olive Ridley Turtles in prohibited areas along the world’s largest nesting ground of Odisha coast. Various co-ordination meetings and awareness programme was coordinated by ICG for sensitising coastal populace and fishing community as part of the operation.
ICG ships and aircraft were deployed for protection of turtles and to ensure that appropriate environment is provided to the turtle for mass nesting and to enforce the legislation promulgated by the Government on the subject. Fishing vessels/ boats operating close to marine reserve area/ protected area were regularly checked by Coast Guard boarding party for usage of Turtle Excluder Device (TED). Eleven fishing boats were apprehended for violation of law during the operation.
This year a total of about Seven lakh thirty one thousand turtles laid eggs at various sites on the Odisha coast as per the information provided by PRO Coast Guard Region (NE).