Oil spill spoiled thousands of turtle eggs: activists | india | Hindustan Times
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Oil spill spoiled thousands of turtle eggs: activists

Thousands of eggs of endangered Olive Ridley turtles on the beach adjoining river Rushikulya in Orissa's Ganjam district have failed to hatch this year because of the recent oil spill at a nearby port, conservationists have claimed.

india Updated: May 11, 2010 18:13 IST

Thousands of eggs of endangered Olive Ridley turtles on the beach adjoining river Rushikulya in Orissa's Ganjam district have failed to hatch this year because of the recent oil spill at a nearby port, conservationists have claimed.

"We have found that the hatching of the eggs, which ended last week, have gone down by 40 to 50 per cent this year as the eggs, numbering thousands, got spoiled after the leaked oil soaked the nesting site on the beach," Rabindranath Sahu, secretary of the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee, said.

An oil coat had spread over a seven km area near the nesting site off Rushikulya beach after around eight tonnes of furnace oil leaked from an Essar-owned vessel near Gopalpur port, 20 km from here, on April 12.

High tide, further, spread the spilled oil to the coast.

Villagers claimed that they had seen carcasses of adult turtles along the coast after the sea water had been contaminated due to the oil spill.

Around 1,55,000 Olive Ridley turtles had nested along the coastline in March while the mass hatching of eggs, which continued for a week, ended last week.