Udupi: Turtles of Endangered Species Found Trapped in Fishing Net at Muloor

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Udupi: When Dinesh Kotian, a resident of Uchila-Muloor was walking on the beach on Tuesday morning, he spotted a piece of fishing net floating at a 40-metre distance in the sea. He also observed a movement in it.

Getting closer, he found three turtles trapped in the net, desperately trying to disentangle themselves. Others in the fishing trade, Dheeraj Kumar, Madhukiran Kotian, Chetan Karkera, Santosh and Raghuveer Kotian helped him in carrying them to the shore. After freeing them from the net, they released them in the sea.


Sea turtles are an endangered species and killing or hurting them is punishable under law. Although they are not very common in coastal Karnataka, they have been spotted near Malpe and Maravante beaches.

As a rare instance, about 18 years ago, a sea turtle had been caught in a fishing net off the Mangaluru coast. It carried a tag affixed by the ministry of enviroment, Sultanate of Oman. It had created a lot of curiosity, since it had drifted away by thousands of kilometres. It too was released to the sea. The news was reported in an Omani newspaper also.

Perhaps, the matter of having spotted the turtles in Muloor could have been reported to the departments concerned or scientists. Its species identity could have assisted in scientific studies.

Olive ridley turtles are being specially allowed to breed in beaches in Odisha like Garimatha. To protect their eggs from being poached, the Indian Navy provides special protection during the breeding season in the early months every year.

Scientists recognise seven living species of sea turtles, which are grouped into six genera. These species include: the Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Green (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), Australian flatback (Natator depressa) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtle.

(pic for illustrative purpose only)

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