Fishery - Related Mortality of Sea Turtles in India: An Overview

Rajagopalan, M and Vijayakumaran, K and Vivekanandan, E (2008) Fishery - Related Mortality of Sea Turtles in India: An Overview. In: Marine Turtles of the Indian subcontinent. Kartick, Shankar and Choudhury, B C,(eds.) Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, pp. 227-237.

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Abstract

Coastal communities have exploited sea turtles for centuries. In the 1950s, organised fisheries were developed to capture turtles in many parts of the world; sea turtles were considered an important exploitable fishery resource due to their high commercial value. Turtle meat and eggs were seell as a basic protein source for coastal populations. In India, Jacob (1973) highlighted the potential of sea turtle resources. Organised trade in turtle products existed prior to the eighties (Dattatri 1984, Rajagopalan 1984, 2000). It is estimated that 50,000-80,000 adult olive ridleys were captured off the Gahirmatha coast every nesting season up to 1981-82 (Das 1985). In September 1977. the five species of sea turtles that occur in Indian waters were included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. As a consequence of the implementation of regulatory measures, organised capture and trade decreased, though illegal trade persisted till the mid-1980s. While the threat from targeted capture and trade decreased, incidental capture of sea turtles in gear operated for other species of fish and shellfish has become more significant over the years. The interaction of sea turtles with fisheries has become an area of critical importance in many parts of the world (Gerosa and Casale 1999, Vivekanandan 2002). In India tOO, incidental capture in gill nets and trawls has become a serious threat to sea turtle populations (Rajagopalan et a11996, 2001, Pandav and Choudhury 1999, Wright and Mohanty 2002). Due to an increase in the number of fishing units, and also improvement in technology, incidental bycatch has increased in recent years to the extent that it is the most significant cause of sea turtle mortality in Indian waters.

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Fishery; Mortality; Sea Turtles; India
Subjects:Marine turtle
Divisions:CMFRI-Cochin > Fishery Environment
ID Code:7752
Deposited By:Dr. V Mohan
Deposited On:23 Feb 2011 16:52
Last Modified:30 May 2012 15:39

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