What is Operation Olivia?

Recently, Coast Guard have enforced laws and started operation Olivia to protect Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha

What is Operation Olivia?

Operation Olivia was started by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), first in early 1980s. This operation helps in protecting Olive Ridley turtles every year when they start nesting along Odisha coast for breeding in months of November to December. Under it, round-the-clock surveillance is conducted from November till May through Coast Guard assets like Fast patrol vessels, Interceptor craft, Air cushion vessels and Dornier aircraft.

Current scenario

In between November 2020 to May 2021, Coast Guard has devoted 225 ship days and 388 aircraft hours. They have protected 3.49 lakh turtles.

Who enforces these laws?

These laws and operation are enforced by the Coast Guard which gets power under Orissa Marine Fisheries Act. Efforts are made at various levels such as:

  1. Enforcement of use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) by trawlers in waters surrounding nesting areas.
  2. Prohibition of using gill nets as turtle approaches to the shore to curtail turtle poaching.

About Olive Ridley

Olive Ridley turtles are listed as vulnerable under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Sea turtles found in India have been included in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. They are also listed in Appendix I of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora. Their mass nesting is called as arribada. Gahirmatha, Astaranga coast, mouth of Devi river and Rushikulya are four arribadas sites off the Odisha Coast in India. Apart from that, Hope Island of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh is also preferred for mass nesting.

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