Target: Joint Commissioner of the Department of Fisheries, Shri L. Shankar
Goal: Figure out why Olive Ridley turtles are dying by the masses and put a stop to it.
Hundreds of Olive Ridley sea turtles have washed up dead on India’s Puri Beach. This comes only a month after thousands of other Olive Ridley carcasses were found on nearby shores. With their population steadily declining, these turtles cannot afford to lose any more of their species. Make the Department of Fisheries investigate why this is happening and put a stop to sea turtle deaths.
The World Wildlife Fund has put Olive Ridley turtles on the vulnerable species list. This is because they nest in only a few places and any disturbance can effect the entire population negatively. Unfortunately their population is being disturbed all over India. Before the deaths at Puri Beach, fishermen have seen outrageous numbers of deceased turtles in seven other villages.
Some local government officials, like Joint Director Yukub Basha, suspect illegal net fishing: “This is the breeding season and the turtles come to the shore to lay eggs. Many of them get trapped in the nets of mechanized boats.” A ban is set on net fishing, also known as trawling, between November and May, but it still continues due to poor patrolling by marine police and forest authorities.
Two illegal trawlers were caught after these turtles washed up on Puri Beach. It is still unknown if they were responsible for all 300 carcasses. Many residents also want the government to look into local water pollution. Whatever the reason is, mass deaths of Olive Ridley turtles are being seen more and more. Demand that the Indian government investigates and stops what is causing the eradication of this sea turtle population.
Dear Shri L. Shankar,
I am writing to ask you to investigate the recent mass deaths of Olive Ridley sea turtles on Puri Beach and surrounding areas. Thousands of carcasses have been found in the last two months and the numbers keep rising. These vulnerable turtles are an important part of India’s ecosystem and need to be protected from whatever is harming them.
The amount of Olive Ridley turtle deaths have risen dramatically over the last decade. It is unclear to the public whether these deaths are caused by trawlers, pollutants, or other factors. The one thing we do know is that they need to stop. I encourage you to find the root cause and take action before any more unnecessary deaths occur.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: National Park Service