India to use turtles to boost tourism

12th Nov 2012

The state of Odisha in India is set to use its position as the nesting place of choice for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles to boost tourism.

Officials claim that the region can boast as much as half of the world's turtle population, while it is home to 90% of the Indian sea turtle population, and they want to use that to promote tourism more effectively.

The coastline in Odisha has reportedly seen constant growth in the Olive Ridley turtle population during the course of the last decade but development commissioner R N Senapati insists that they "should not be disturbed at any cost" and must not be harmed in any way.

"Since Odisha is the most favoured nesting place for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, we should try to market it for tourism promotion by raising watch towers at a safe distance and using binoculars to watch the turtles," the development commissioner said.

The beach between Ekakulanasi and Gahiramatha coast of Bhitarkanika is the biggest rookery of Olive Ridley turtles in the world and the sandy stretch near river Rusikulya in the Ganjam district is another large nesting site for turtles.

Meanwhile, other places near the river mouths of Dhamara, Maipura, Baunshagarh, Hansua, Gobari, Kushabhadra, Kadua, Prachi, Devi, Subarnarekha and Budhabalanga are also popular nesting spots for turtles in India.

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