Marine turtle nesting habitats are being protected along the Okhamandal coast through monitoring programme, beach cleaning drives and ghost-net removal initiatives.
The Okhamandal region features sandy beaches that are nesting grounds of marine turtles, particularly Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas). Plastic pollution, incidental catch in trawler nets, ghost net, coastal erosion and the spread of pest weeds (Prosopis juliflora) has adversely impacted the nesting grounds threatening the survivel of these already endangered animals.
Tata Chemicals, through C-SCAPES, has been working towards the conservation of marine turtles by extending support for protection of sandy beaches and monitoring of turtle nesting and mortality along the Okhamandal coastline. A partnership with Sagar Rakshak Dal (a wing of the Marine Police) is being explored to strengthen data collection and reporting mechanisms. Beach cleaning drives and ghost net removal programs are organized regularly by employee volunteers and family members, and in partnership with the State Forest Dept. and Indian Coast Guard. Community programmes are organized to increase conservation awareness.
- Collection of marine turtle eggs along the Mithapur coast has stopped.
- Local communities have started reporting on nesting and turtle mortality.
- Voluntary participation in beach cleaning and ghost net removal activities is on the rise.
- The program generates around 1,000 to 1,200 voluntary hours annually.