Sea Turtles Of India

Beach management and hatchery programmes

Given the high densities of human populations along the Indian coast, nests are vulnerable to predation by humans and feral animals, mainly dogs. Hatchlings are also vulnerable to predation and are disoriented by beachfront lighting. Since it is often not possible to have complete protection for nesting beaches, it is important to weigh the costs and benefits of in situ (on site beach management) versus ex situ (hatchery management) approaches which will depend on the nature and degree of the threat, the objective of the conservation programme and the resources (financial and personnel) available.

In general, eggs should be allowed to develop without disturbance as far as possible. It is only when the relative merits of moving eggs far outweighs leaving them on site that they should be moved. Ex situ conservation (with hatcheries) usually involves greater intervention, but offers additional value in terms of education and awareness.
Many state forest departments (West Bengal, Orissa, Goa, Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and NGOs (in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu) already run hatchery programmes.

More information on beach and hatchery management programmes are available in the Beach Management and Hatchery Programmes manual.