Olive Ridley Turtles

The Olive Ridley Sea turtle (Binomial name-Lepidochelys olivacea), is also commonly known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle. This turtle species is the second smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • The Olive ridley turtles are typically found in warm and tropical waters, in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and sometimes in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • This species is known for a unique mass nesting process called ‘arribada’, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • The coast of Odisha in India is one the largest mass nesting site for these turtles, along with the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
  • The species is classified as ‘vulnerable’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.

Operation Oliva

  • Recently, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has launched an “Operation Oliva” with an aim to save the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle on the Odisha Coast. Under the operation, two ships have been deployed at the major nesting sites of olive ridley turtles namely – Rushikulya beach, Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, and Devi River with an aim to stop the entry of fishing vessels.
  • In addition to this, an aircraft will also be used to look over the region and protection of sea turtles. ICG will keep a watch on the illegal fishing in the region to prevent the turtles.
  • Operation Oliva was originally launched by the Government of India in the year 1999 to protect marine species.
  • ICG conducts the operation every year on the Odisha coast to protect sea animals.

Indian Coast Guard

It is an agency that is responsible for the enforcement of marine laws along with being a search and rescue agency. ICG serves as the nodal agency for preventing coastal areas. It was established in the year 1978 and is headquartered in New Delhi.

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