Project Oliva: The Indian Coast Guard Steps in to Save Endangered Olive Ridleys


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The Indian Coast Guard has descended on the state of Odisha with one goal – to save Oliva.

Olivia, in this case, is not a missing person but rather the Olive Ridley turtles. Aptly dubbed, “Operation Oliva,” the mission will ensure these turtles are able to breed mid-sea without the intrusion of fishing vessels.

The rescue efforts are taking place along the sea waters of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, and the Coast Guard will patrol the region where the turtles are most commonly found in large concentrations, preventing trespassing and illegal fishing.

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Speaking to The Indian Express, Deputy Inspector General of Coast Guard, Odisha, Sanjeev Deewan said, “The patrol exercise for surveillance on trespassing sea-worthy trawls is on as turtles perish in large numbers after getting hit by trawl propellers. Besides, breeding animals get entangled in fishing nets and are asphyxiated to death. The coast guard is on alert to check trespassing of vessels. The operation to save turtles is being carried on in a coordinated manner.”

These types of turtles are specifically found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the western part of the Indian Ocean. The Bay of Bengal near Odisha is the most important breeding site for the Olive Ridley turtles in the world.

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Photo source: Flickr

You may also like: Want to Volunteer at the Chennai Oil Spill Clean Up? Here Are Some Do’s and Don’ts


Most recently, due to the large-scale oil spill in Chennai, wildlife found along the country’s coast has suffered deeply and the region has seen devastating loss in various species. In fact, it has been the sea turtles with nesting grounds near the spill that have suffered the most. And yet, the Coast Guard, along with other environmental organisations and volunteers from the general public, have been hard at work ensuring they remove as much sludge as possible.

Because every life matters.

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