ECONOMYNEXT: Sri Lanka’s Galle Face, a historic site next to Chinese-built Port City has become a sea turtle hatchery for nearly 200 sea turtle eggs. the island nation’s Coastguard officials said.
An official at Sri Lanka Coastguard said sea turtle eggs were seen at the Galle Face beach for the first time and there could be more sea turtles hatching eggs in the area than what they have discovered now.
“The construction of Port City had prohibited us from sailing life saving boats for 24 hours,” the official told EconomyNext, asking not to be named.
The Coast guards are trying their best to conserve these precious sea creatures in their natural breeding places and the turtles’ eggs are mostly conserved in the lifesaving posts in Wellawatte and Mount Lavinia,” he said referring to two suburban areas in capital Colombo.
“We always try to pre-conserve these eggs in their natural places. If there is any danger, we try to evacuate them and pre-conserve them in our own places,” the official said, adding that the Galle Face has become a natural breeding place.
An official at the Department of Wildlife Conservation said it takes 45 days for the eggs to hatch.
In Sri Lanka, slaughter of marine turtles for meat is a traditional practice in many coastal areas.
Slaughter of nesting adult females directly affects the reduction of the turtle population. Live turtles entangled in fishing gear are also slaughtered for flesh by the fishermen.
The most widespread form of marine turtle exploitation is the illegal poaching of turtle eggs, researchers say.
As female turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, this makes easy prey for egg collectors who take the eggs and sell them.
All marine turtle nests on Sri Lankan beaches are robbed of their eggs except in places where conservation programmes are implemented.
The eggs are either sold at markets for consumption or to turtle hatcheries.
Unlike other countries, Sri Lanka has yet to promote sea turtle conservation areas and hatcheries as tourism attraction sites. (Colombo/Jan19/2022)