The Hindu , 08 March 2006

Tips on turtle conservation

CHENNAI: Members of TREE Foundation's Kadal Aamai Padhukavalargal (KAP) organised an awareness programme on sea turtle conservation for the fishermen of Kasimedu on Sunday.

Announcements were made in the area about the awareness programme well in advance, said Supraja Dharini of TREE Foundation. Injambakkam KAP members choreographed and danced to a turtle song, which was witnessed by more than 600 trawl workers. A street play, "Niraintha Kattumaram," was performed explaining how the sea turtles were "ambassadors of the oceans" and conserving them was protecting the seas and coastal areas, which would protect a complex, interconnected world on which the fishermen depended.

After the street play, three members of the KAP shared their experience with the Kasimedu fishermen. Dr. Supraja Dharini, chairperson of TREE Foundation, said that in most cases, people were simply unaware rather than uncaring. Salient points on the importance and how the fishermen in the sea should treat a turtle caught in a trawl net had been explained to them. Pamphlets were also distributed to the fishermen community in Kasimedu on the importance of the turtles. They were told that if a turtle got entangled in a fishing net, it should be released back into waters carefully. If it was found unconscious, mere sprinkling of water is enough to revive and then let it back into the waters. There was a positive response and healthy interaction.