Goa’s turtle conservation center located at Galgibaga Beach, which is the first of its kind in Goa, is nearing completion. This is due to the GCZMA (Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority) approving a provisional plan to manage the protection and conservation of the Olive Ridley Turtle nesting site.
This plan has been constructed and submitted by Joseph S Rauto De Souza, a chief scientist at the department of science, technology and environment. It was constructed in response to an order issued by the NGT (National Green Tribunal) as well as the government’s plans that focus on the long term conservation of Olive Ridley Turtles at Galgibaga Beach.
The otherwise deserted Galgibaga Beach along with Agonda Beach are designated Olive Ridley Turtle nesting sites as per a 2011 coastal regulations zone notification. Sadly, Goa’s 2014-15 tourism season saw many tents, shacks, huts and other similar tourism infrastructure invade this nesting site leading to many a local activist and villager getting upset. A local NGO in particular, namely Poinguinkarancho Ekvotta filed a number of complaints before the NGT, persuading them to bring back peace to Galgibaga Beach and to put their proposal of a turtle reserve into motion.
Having deliberated extensively on this topic the GCMA has finally accepted the proposal for a turtle reserve recently, which will now be presented to the NGT.
Galgibaga Beach is an idyllic nesting ground for the Olive Ridley Turtle that sees its highest number of turtle-traffic during the November through March nesting period. It is situated on the Galgibaga River’s mouth and has a hill towards the North disconnecting it from Patnem. Land amounting to about 1,55,775 square meters in this area has been acquired by the forest department for this project.
In Goa, turtle conservation was introduced in the mid-1990’s in Morjim. The now unidentifiable place, was free of any kind of tourist activity back then.
Image Courtesy – feminiya.com