Panaji: Earlier this week Drishti lifeguards spotted sea turtles in Betalbatim, Cavelossim and Rajbag Canacona, entrapped in a net which had washed up on the shore. The incidents were reported to the forest department immediately.
The turtles spotted were freed from the net and its condition was examined. As medical intervention was not required, the turtles was released back into the ocean.
Marine Wildlife Stranding Network, Ocean Watch – Goa, witnessed 5 live turtle stranding this week, all entrapped in discarded nets, along the coast of South Goa.
The nets in which the marine mammals get entangled are commonly called ghost nets. Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. These nets are hazardous to turtles and other marine life as they continue to actively catch fish, sea snakes, cetaceans, turtles and other marine animals.
Sea turtles are air breathing reptiles. The weight of a net may hold them back and not allow them to surface. An added load also slows them down. In recent times Goa’s coast has witnessed a number of incidents of turtle stranding.
Ocean watch is a collaborative effort between Terra Conscious, Drishti, Goa Forest Department and IUCN India.