Due to the harvesting of Marine Turtles and their eggs and also their accidental mortality associated with shipping, trawling and other fishing operations, turtles have been threatened with extinction in all parts of the world.
Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) started Marine turtle conservation in Maharashtra state on 1st October 2002. First year we protected 50 nests of Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and released 2734 hatchlings at Velas in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
In next three years we extended this project to the entire 720 km coastline of Maharashtra. In last four years we protected 152 nests and released 7610 hatchlings into the sea. We also arranged awareness programs on the entire coastline.
Turtle friend award, Turtle festival, publication of a booklet are the other related projects/programs that we undertook.
The entire life cycle of marine turtle still remains a mystery. Once their hatchlings enter the sea, upon maturity, only female turtles visit the coastline for breeding, and that too for a couple of hours only. Turtles leave identifying marks in the sand, when they arrive to the shore and return to the sea. Tracks 2 to 2.5 feet wide appear on the sand when the turtle crawls