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Patnaik fails to protect turtles: Greenpeace

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 14 (UNI) Greenpeace activists today confronted Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with evidence of his government's ineptitude and inability to protect the endangered Olive Ridley turtles that arrive each year to nest on the beaches of the costal state.

The activists laid out carcasses of three turtles, along with skulls and bones of several others, at the doorstep of the Chief Minister's residence here, displaying a banner stating ''Orissa Turtles: Killed on arrival. Chief Accused: Chief Minister''.

Greenpeace, the international NGO working for a better environment, also presented the Chief Minister a copy of a report-- 'I Witness'-- on the study of the causes of the death of turtles in the Devi river region of Orissa.

The report provides a chilling reminder of the urgency of the issue, as the endangered Olive Ridleys are being pushed further towards extinction.

Bearing witness in just one season, Greenpeace has documented evidence of over two thousand dead turtles washed ashore along the coast from Ramchandi to the Jatadhar river mouth.

The vast majority of these deaths are caused by illegal fishing, particularly by trawlers in the no-trawling zones, the study said.

''It's time the Chief Minister woke up to the urgency of the situation. He can no longer evade his responsibility for the annual turtle genocide in Orissa," said Mr Ashish Fernandes, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Orissa Chief Wildlife Warden had earlier this month told a delegation from Grrenpeace that the department was handicapped to protect the turtles due to lack of adequate funds and manpower.


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