Why in news?
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), along with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) celebrated World Turtle Day on 23rd may 2020.
In order to conserve turtles and other wildlife, NMCG has taken up several initiatives including establishing conservation centers and creating public awareness about the subject.
World Turtle Day
- World Turtle Day is celebrated on May 23rd of every year.
- The purpose of World Turtle Day is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.
- Founded in 1990, American Tortoise Rescue is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day.
Turtles and Turtle conservation in India
- There are five turtle species in Indian waters — Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley.
- In India sea turtles are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, under the Schedule I Part II.
- Every year, thousands of sea turtles are accidentally captured, injured or killed by mechanised boats, trawl nets and gill nets operated and used by comercial fishermen.
- The turtle breeding season is usually between November and December. In Tamil Nadu, for example, the Olive Ridley nests between December and April along the Chennai-Kancheepuram coastline.
- Sea turtles, especially the leatherback, keep jellyfish under control, thereby helping to maintain healthy fish stocks in the oceans.
- The Green turtle feeds on sea grass beds and by cropping the grass provide a nursery for numerous species of fish, shellfish and crustaceans.