National Marine Turtle Action Plan
National Marine Turtle Action Plan has been recently released by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in New Delhi. The Ministry also released the ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ along with the Marine Turtle Action Plan.
- National Marine Turtle Action Plan and Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines have been released acknowledging the need for a conservation paradigm for marine turtles and marine mega fauna.
- Both the documents were virtually released by the Union Environment Minister.
- At the launch, the minister called for conserving both floral and faunal diversity including marine biodiversity.
- Both these documents include the ways and measures to promote inter-sectoral action for conservation.
- The documents also provide guidance for enhanced coordination amongst the government, all relevant stakeholders, and civil society on the response to cases of entanglement, stranding, injury, or mortality of marine mammals. All of them should also have better coordination to chalk out plans for the conservation of marine turtles.
- These two documents point out the actions to be taken for handling stranded or entangled animals in the sea or on a boat, stranded animals on the shore, management actions for improved coordination, rehabilitation of degraded habitats, reducing threats to marine species and their habitats, enhancing people’s participation, advance scientific research and exchange of information on marine turtles and marine mammals and their habitats.
India has rich marine biodiversity along a vast coastline of over 7,500 km. The country has colorful fishes, big mammals like whales, dolphins, and dugongs to bright corals, sharks, including Whale Sharks, turtles, etc. Millions of people in the country depend on these resources ranging from food, maritime trade and transport, mineral resources, spiritual values, cultural traditions, and inspiration that draw tourists from around the world.
Despite the immense ecological, economic, and cultural values of marine habitats in India, marine turtles and marine mega fauna species face a wide variety of challenges including stranding and entanglement. These two documents are released to serve as a resolve to the challenges of the marine mega fauna and marine turtles.