Operation Olivia

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 20, 2022, 7:18

Wildlife Biodiversity plays a significant part in maintaining and preserving the ecosystem. Each living organism has some role to play in the smooth functioning of the environment. The Indian Coast Guard undertook a mission back in the 1980s which continues to help rescue and safeguard Olive Ridley Turtles.

These species have been under the threat of extinction for a long time. Various factors are responsible for the declining numbers of Olive Ridley turtles, like illegal poaching by humans or attacks by feral dogs. Read below to know more about Operation Olivia.

Need for Operation Olivia

As mentioned earlier, Olive Ridley Turtle is under the threat of going extinct, and it's high time humans do something about it. Hatchlings of the Turtle are not strong enough to protect themselves, and thus they are often preyed upon by pigs, ghost carbs, feral dogs, and other predators.

Out in the water, marine predators like whales, sharks, etc., are known you attack turtles. Illegal slaughtering of turtles for meat and poaching their eggs by humans have also led to a rapid decline in the postulation numbers of Olive Ridley turtles. At times like these, the government of India or other concerning authorities need to take necessary steps to preserve this species of turtles.

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Keypoints of Operation Olivia

  • Operation Olivia was started by the Indian Coast Guard back in the 1980s. The operation's primary objective was to protect Olive Ridley Turtles each year as they began to nest along the coast of Odisha.
  • Their nesting signifies the start of the breeding period, which starts in November and ends in December.
  • 24/7 surveillance is done from November till May end by Coast Guards assets, including Interceptor craft, Fast patrol vessels, Dornier aircraft, and Air Cushion Vessels.
  • Under this operation, countermeasures are also taken to prevent and intercept unlawful trawling activities.

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Features of Olive Ridley Turtle

  • They are the smallest and most coming turtles going around the world.
  • They migrate more than hundreds of kilometres between mating and feeding grounds each year.
  • Olive Ridley Turtles are carnivores in nature, and their name is derived/inspired by the olive-coloured carapace.
  • This species is prominent for Arribada, a unique mass nesting phenomenon. It means thousands of female Olive Ridley Turtles come together to lay eggs on the same beach.
  • Their natural habitat can be found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.

This unique initiative undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard has saved the lives of many Olive Ridley Turtles. From November 2020 to May 2021, the coast guard has devoted about 388 aircraft hours and 225 ship days to protect about 3.49 lakhs female turtles laying eggs on Odisha's coast.

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FAQs on Operation Olivia

Q.1. In the context of Operation Olivia, name two laws enforced by the Indian Coast Guard

In the context of Operation Olivia, the two laws enforced by the Indian Coast Guard are

  • Prohibition of the utilisation of gill nets to prevent turtle poaching
  • Mandatory use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) by trawlers to avoid accidental killing of turtles

Q.2. Keeping Operation Olivia in mind, What is the status of Olive Ridley turtles on the IUCN red list?

Keeping Operation Olivia in mind, On the IUCN red list, Olive Ridley turtles are placed under the vulnerable category.

Q.3. With regards to Operation Olivia, where is Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary?

With regards to Operation Olivia, the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is located in Odisha.

Q.4. With regards to Operation Olivia, when was the Indian Coast Guard established?

With regards to Operation Olivia, the Indian Coast guard was established in the year 1978.