Terra Marine Research Institute,Karnataka in collaboration with FSL-India conducted a coastal survey in the month of May 2015 to interview and collect data from fishermen communities on the conservation status of sea turtles along the Udupi district coast.
The study will document primary and secondary data on several aspects related to the conservation of sea turtles, including studies of traditional and trawl fishing communities.
In this regard four student interns from Terra Marine Research Institute,Karnataka and FSL-India staff conducted survey by visiting Beejadi, Gangolli, Malpe and Udyavar villages. We collected information according to questionnaire by interacting with fisherman.
The researchers first objective was to talk to some of the fishermen of the area to understand how they see the conservation of the turtles affects their lives and how they can help the turtles while keeping their livelihood and lifestyle as men of the sea. Many fishermen talked and expressed their interest in and positive approach to the turtles, as well as their intentions to help in any way they could, although they were more adamant to change their ways and try new fishing techniques which could mean big risks for them and their income. Many of them consider turtles sacred creatures which they don’t eat and free if they get trapped in their nests anyway.
A second task carried out was to measure the nets the fishermen use in their boats when going into the sea to analyze the possible risks that these can imply to the turtles lives and survival, as they may get caught on them and run the risk to suffocate or get seriously hurt.
At the end of the whole process, there will be a report with all the findings to try and find a way of implementing GPS tracking in the most relevant territories, as well as to produce a list of rules and regulations to standardized the practice and approach when dealing with sea turtles and their conservation.