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Entangled Hawksbill Turtle Saved by Fisherfolk of Muloor, Karnataka

By Bindu Sulochanan, S Veena, Prathibha Rohit and V Kripa


On October 3rd 2015 the fisherfolk of Muloor, Udupi District of Karnataka, India, found a hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) entangled in a ghost gillnet and struggling to swim at a depth of 6m around 3km from the shore of Kaup Beach (13º13’25.14”N, 74º44’14.58”E). As they were aware that turtles need to be protected, they brought the turtle to the shore, cut the entangled net and released it back to the sea. The curved carapace length was measured at 65cm and the weight estimated at ~48kg. The hawksbill is a critically endangered sea turtle as per global IUCN listing. In India, hawksbill turtles nest in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and to a lesser extent in Lakshadweep (Andrews et al., 2006). There are no confirmed reports of hawksbill turtles nesting along the Karnataka coast, but fisherfolk have previously reported sighting hawksbill turtles offshore of Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts in Karnataka (Ravi & Rakesh, 2013) and hawksbill turtle carapaces have been found in fishers’ houses in Karnataka (Sharath, 2006)

Topics: Marine Turtle, Conservation
Year: 2016
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