- Recently, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched the National Marine Turtle Action Plan.
About National Marine Turtle Action Plan (NMTAP)
- The aim of the action plan is to strengthen and sustain collective and collaborative sea turtle conservation through the monitoring of key sites and a network of partners in the Indian sub-continent.
- The project contains ways and means to not only promote inter-sectoral action for conservation but also guide improved coordination amongst the government, civil society and all relevant stakeholders.
- It highlights actions to be taken for handling stranded animals on the shore, stranded or entangled animals in the sea or on a boat, reducing threats to marine species and their habitats, rehabilitation, etc.
Need of National Marine Turtle Action Plan (NMTAP)
- India has rich marine biodiversity along a vast coastline of over 7,500 km.
- From colorful fish, sharks, including Whale Sharks, turtles and big mammals like whales, dolphins and dugongs to bright corals
- Marine habitats not only harbor diverse species but also provide resources essential for human wellbeing.
- Millions of people depend on these resources ranging from maritime trade and transport, food, mineral resources, cultural traditions, spiritual values and inspiration that draws tourists from around the world.
- Despite the immense economic, ecological and cultural values of marine habitats in India, marine mega fauna species and marine turtles face a wide variety of challenges including stranding and entanglement.
- Managing such challenging situations requires coordination, action and people’s participation which would help in the long-term conservation of marine species and their habitats.
Back to Basics
- Five species of Indian turtles along with their IUCN status are as follows:
- Olive Ridley – Vulnerable
- Green turtle – Endangered
- Loggerhead – Vulnerable
- Hawksbill – Critically Endangered
- Leather back – Vulnerable
- They are protected in Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, under Schedule I.
- All 7 species of marine turtles are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
- They are also protected under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation programme.