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Endangered Olive Ridley turtles carcasses found on AP coast

Visakhapatnam , Sun, 10 Feb 2013 ANI

Visakhapatnam, Feb.10 (ANI): Nearly 100 carcasses of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles were washed ashore under mysterious circumstances, baffling scientists and locals, at the coast of Appikonda beach in Andhra Pradesh state.

According to reports, this is one of the highest death tolls of Olive Ridleys in Vizag district after a span of four years.

The Olive Ridley turtles, which are listed as an endangered species, land up in thousands on Indian shores between the months of November and March.

The head of the environmental science department, E.U.Bhaskar Reddy, said the cause of the deaths of the turtles is yet to be ascertained.

"Some of the species in the population might be growing older, some may have become sick and some may after death, natural death the worse thing will be throwing them out and these carcasses will be coming to the shore and we have to verify whether these turtles they are coming to the shore in a complete dead state or sick state, then only we can comment," said Reddy.

In February 2008, nearly 700 Olive Ridleys were declared dead on the beaches of Appikonda, Tantadi, Mutyallammapalem and Tikkavanipalem.

Not only turtles, but even territorial fish are becoming victims of the unchecked pollution.

A biopsy was conducted in 2008 on the dead turtles and the reports suggested the presence of nitrates in abnormally high quantity in the guts, indicating that not only the water but even the feed had turned toxic in the area which was the home to these turtles.

After the incident, environmentalists had raised a hue and cry over the issue, and the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board also promised to take some measures to prevent a repeat of these deaths.

Olive Ridleys migrate from the coast of Mexico to the Andhra Pradesh coast for breeding and nesting each year between the months of November and March.

Many of them die along the Visakhapatnam coast after getting trapped in the double-filament gill nets that are used by trawlers and now pollution is another major problem. (ANI)

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